Canopy of Care Appeal 2020

Canopy of Care Promotional Logo & Image of customers and volunteers at the front of Unwrapped in Ely, Cambridgeshire

Click here to Donate on Local Giving

The Prospects Trust Unwrapped Canopy of Care project is going to create “more than just a place to sit” for the community of Ely & East Cambridgeshire. We wish to install a commercial grade canopy across our outside fully accessible seating area outside of Unwrapped, LuvEly’s Community Larder and Lighthouse Community Centre to enable our Co-workers, Customers and Community Groups to have a safe place to interact (at a distance).  Our Canopy of Care will be a physical hug of a cover to those suffering isolation during Covid.  We wish to create a well-managed safe place in the heart of Ely where people can still meet in the winter, outside and supported. Pre and during Covid-19 many Community support groups have used Unwrapped as a meeting point.  The Canopy of Care will cover our outside well-spaced seating to enable this vital human interaction to continue and make sure that everyone has someone to care for and be cared by. 

In Sept 2019 our local and very established charity opened a very new and innovative social enterprise – Unwrapped, Ely’s first Zero Waste, Eco-Refill Larder & truly GREEN-grocery. A year of trading and Unwrapped has put social enterprise on the Ely high street, with young people with additional needs at the heart of action, making the barista pro coffee, serving customers on state of the art tills and creating fantastic products from the shop and farm produce.  But imagine running a zero single use plastic refill store & farm food café in the middle of a Global Pandemic, its been interesting.  However what we learnt – we can survive this together.

Over lockdown we reduced the internal head count, created hand sanitiser stations, provided free home delivery to our shielding customers and sadly removed our internal seating to make room for “social distancing”. Our staff and Co-worker Teams were the first to wear face coverings in the City, making Covid precautions a new norm, vital as we support some of the most vulnerable in our society.  This summer we created a whole new outside seating area from donations, crowdfunding and lots of upcycling creativity. Our customers flocked to support our (their) enterprise; shopping local, seasonally, sustainably and supporting Unwrapped as we dare to retail differently. They even helped create the planters outside our seating area, help lay foundations and erect the benches, tables and give back their time and expertise to make it happen. All this was tricky while the sun shined – now Winter is indeed coming and we wish to create a little Canopy of Care to keep that warmth in all of our hearts. 

Donate a tenner and kick off our Crowdstarter, donate £20 to be our Crowdpleaser and if you can £50 to be our Chief Crowdonor! Keep it local, keep safe and keep happy at Prospects Trust Unwrapped – retailing differently since before Covid-19 and unwrapping more than just a place to sit!

Thank you to all of our supporters to date – we have already raised a third of our appeal total – lets make Lockdown worth something and have something to look forward to when we can meet up again!

Unwrapped deliver a Hamper of Happiness to Highfield School Ely’s key workers

Ely’s first zero waste greengrocery and refill larder, Prospects Trust Unwrapped, made a special top of the class delivery to its friends at Highfield Ely today while on their busy home delivery rounds.  Highfield School learners have been part of the social enterprise since it opened last September and the team at Unwrapped wanted to send some treats to their frontline friends.

Prospects Trust Unwrapped had to transform its retail offering practically overnight with the early warnings of Covid-19 and in just once month has turned from a “buy just what you need” busy and bustling shop into a non-contact home delivery service of larder bulk buys.  As a registered charity that supports people with additional needs, their mission is #survivetothrive until the time that Unwrapped can reopen and continue to provide innovative social care placements in the shop.

Tom Cockerton, Manager of Prospects Trust Unwrapped said “we have been astounded, and at times overwhelmed, by the swell of customer orders and loyal support to our social enterprise.  It helped that for a short while we were the only shop in Ely to have toilet rolls and bread yeast, which we still have in regular supply.  Our customers are now making weekly orders of our fruit and veg boxes stocked with seasonal and organic produce as well as their core staples of porridge oats and coffee beans.  I like to think in a small way we are not just providing critical groceries we are also keeping in touch with our customer fan base”. 

Prospects Trust Unwrapped closed its café and put a temporary halt to training placements at the end of March before the national lock down began as a quick measure to keep everyone safe, especially their Co-worker trainees. Overnight the shop created a basic online delivery form, using the skills of a returning Uni student and harnessing the whole of the small workforce, launched Unwrapped Home Delivery.

Customers can now select all their regular store cupboard basics and get their family’s five-a-day weekly veg & fruit online.  The staff team prepare the order and give a phone call to the customer to let them know when to expect a non-contact doorstep delivery.  Clare Rees, Unwrapped Support Worker said “we are proud that we can still continue to provide that friendly personal service, something our shielding and vulnerable customers really need in these times.”

Maz Baker, Development Manager for The Prospects Trust said “as a small charity we are facing the hardest of times, as are so many other frontline services and social good causes.  Nobody is excluded from the challenges of Covid-19 but as a charity we want to #StrivetoThrive.  We felt it was right to reach out to other organisations that are providing frontline care to keyworker children, and, our special friends at Highfield School.  The best way to survive is to support each other.  We hope that people will continue to support us by shopping with us at Unwrapped”.

The Prospects Trust has launched a charity appeal, #Survive to Thrive to help the 30 year old charity weather the lockdown and be ready for a bumper harvest with the Co-workers (adults with additional needs) once they are safe to return to their day placements at Snakehall Farm, at Unwrapped and on the Garden Team.  Donations can be made https://localgiving.org/appeal/survivetothrive/ or via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tilly.tractor/posts/2936117949758755.

Prospects Trust Unwrapped was selected as an Aviva Community Fund good cause before the outbreak of Covid-19 and due to the challenging circumstances, Aviva has extended their Crowdfunding period, donations to support Unwrapped can be made online at: https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/refill-not-landfill