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18th Dec 2015

Upcycling king Jay Blades of BBC TV series Money for Nothing fame, came to Reading on Wednesday 16th December to support Against the Grain, a new social enterprise upcycling furniture. 

Jay, who also works with Kirstie Allsopp on her Homemade Christmas show, gave young people and workers on the project an inspirational presentation on his life and work with disadvantaged young people. He told how he has gone from being an established London gangster through a process of changing attitudes and reforming his criminal ways to an entrepreneur selling upcycled furniture in Heals and working with famous designers such as Sir Terence Conran.

Adviza is in the process of getting Against the Grain up and running. Following a recruitment event in October, four NEET (not in education, employment or training) young people have been engaged. Two have been attending workshops run with Reading’s Youth Participation Officer at the Sun Street Community Centre and two are on placement from the NACRO Work Pairing Programme.

Our partner organisation Cranbury College will provide the English and Maths element of our programme. A volunteer tutor from Rycotewood College will provide the furniture making design element.

We aim to get the Traineeship off the ground formally in March and progress Trainees to an Apprenticeship from September.  Further recruitment events will be held in 2016.

For more information about the project please contact Sarah Korting, Project Coordinator, on: 07827 947342


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I just wanted to say a massive thank you for running the two workshops for us. We have received such positive feedback, I hope that...

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