Canopy of Care Appeal 2020

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

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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!

Meet the Artisans

We have created a niche for the artisans and the local creatives in our “Pod” wall within Unwrapped. We wanted to bring a “Not on the High Street” flavour to Ely’s actual High Street and showcase the talent in the neighbourhood. With only four more pods available to rent (£10 per month plus a very low selling commission) we have filled our pods with some unique, eco and oh it will so go go products. We will feature our Pod Producers in future posts but if you want to see what the likes of Dragonfly Soaperie, Lil Glad Rags, The Faraway Tree and Eveterraniums have created you will have to pop in the shop.

To book a pod please contact Tom Cockerton at Unwrapped 01353 662010

Two more sleeps (or not)

While you are all dreaming of refilling your reusable containers strange things are going on in Ely. Shopkeeper Tom is putting the finishing touches to Prospects Trust Unwrapped and we need a few shout outs to the people who are getting us across the finishing line:

A big shout out to our local Mayor, Cllr Mike Rouse, who will be turning the key on the 4th and who has captured our faces in the front cover of the Elyi Magazine.

Sean from SG Auto Tint in Soham who at 11pm is preparing our window decals. We hope Tom is practicing his barista skills and keeping Sean fuelled up on the Hot Numbers caffeine?

The new Unwrapped Staff Crew – Clare, Paul and Kin who have been training on the till, kitting up the kitchen and sprucing up the shop – as well as keeping Tom company.

The wonderful volunteers from the Lighthouse, the local Ely Job Centre cohort, SE Electrical Services, Ruth at Re-imagine and our firm Farm Friends from Emmaus and of course Ken – our now resident decorator!

The amazing local businesses, from Cutlacks & Samovar down the hill to 68 Market Street around the corner, the sustainable champions from longstanding farm wholesale company COFCO and the exciting new Cambridgeshire Sustainable Food Hub, lot of our new suppliers including Yare Valley and Gourmet Brownie – we look forward to working with them and many more as the shop builds up a footfall of customers.

A huge wow from Eco Ely – Hayley and her social media subscribers have been keeping us in the loop and drumming up local support.

A big thank you to the start up funders and donors, from Cambridgeshire Community Foundation/Cambridgeshire County Council’s Innovate and Cultivate Fund, Enterprise East Cambs and our crowdfunding family – seriously without your financial backing we would still be working on the business plan.

A recognition to those that have already paved the way in Zero Waste – our neighbouring businesses across the border in Norfolk – a wave to Graham at Ethical Ernie, Cata at Re.Source and Elizabeth at The Green Parrot for sharing their stories in creating refill larder shops of their own. We also wish to thank all the other like minded indes sharing their stories on Zero-Waste Start Ups on social media.

And finally here’s to working in partnership with Thera, Mencap, Cambridgeshire County Council and the Learning Skills Department in creating a hopefully sustainable and innovative project that becomes the norm for Ely. Now our plea is to the residents of Ely – please come shop little, light and often in our new shop, support our trainees in their learning and eat local, seasonal and ethically. Together we really change change the world (one tiny corner at a time).

The Opening Ceremony

After almost a year in the planning, months in the funding and practically weeks in the shop fitting we are almost ready* to turn the key to the door of Prospects Trust Unwrapped! *who are we kidding we shall never be ready but we are very eager.

The Grand Opening Ceremony will take place at Unwrapped HQ, 13 Lynn Road, Ely, Cambs CB7 4EG from 11 for a VIP key turn at 11:30 am. You can rsvp a place on our Facebook Events page: https://www.facebook.com/events/947315945617658/