High Wycombe social enterprise Out of the Dark is using traditional craftsmanship to engage with youth and breathe new life in to old furniture.
Out of the Dark recycles, re-purposes and revamps salvaged furniture as a means to train, educate and employ young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
They are encouraging young people to get creative, learn about design, master crafts and work towards telling the whole world about the beauty of iconic British craftsmanship.
Antique and retro furniture is discovered abandoned or donated to Out of the Dark and a team of young trainees revitalize it.
The social enterprise is working to teach young people about sustainable living.
Retired crafts-people are handing down their knowledge and skills, and keeping the crafts alive. The first teacher they had was a 90-year-old, who taught them chair caning.
Out of the Dark co-founder Jade Blades said: “The youth love it; it becomes a matter of pride to work on a piece that looks like it has no life left to it, but then through their effort becomes a piece that even they themselves like and would consider owning.”
The craft industry contributes £3 billion a year to the UK economy, and Out of the Dark wants to get the younger generation leading the way to make re-vamping furniture that’s seen better days hot.
Jay and Jade Blades who set up Out of the Dark, ran a charity called Street Dreams to help disadvantaged young people through coaching, sports, arts and media in the Thames Valley area.
Street Dreams was named John Lewis Local Charity of the year in 2010.