Work Experience & Examples.

The Primrose Hospice charity runs two separate stores on my local high street, one selling clothing, home furnishings and ornaments and the other selling second hand furniture. As I wish to go into charitable work eventually, it seemed appropriate to gain experience in these places to begin with. I approached the manager of the store and asked if he could use my help as an assistant in store and possibly to upcycle/repair and help to sell the furniture in the store opposite, thankfully he was keen to take me on as shop staff and happy for me to liaise with the furniture shop manager as to whether I may be of service.

Today I worked my first shift in the main store, I was asked to tidy the shop and I was also asked to share any ideas I had with how to display stock in a better way and complimented on the displays I created. I also visited the manager at the furniture shop and have been eagerly taken aboard by them, to help make the second hand furniture more appealing and hopefully easier to sell.

Tomorrow, as well as doing my second shift in the main store, I will also be donating an hour or two to the furniture store, where I will be reupholstering a large pouffe as my 1st task.

This post will therefore be documentary of my voluntary work, it will contain all my pictures pertaining to Primrose, in order to create a portfolio of before & after pictures and hopefully the price(s) things eventually sell for.

Okay update today 11/02/2016:

I’ve now been taken on as volunteer for the furniture store and am no longer tied to the charity shop 🙂 The Manageress at the furniture store has given me free reign, I did a quick example, to show her what my plans were, she had a rather dated, furry, dusty , frankly disgusting, ottoman out the back. It had been previously covered in a hideous snot green velvet like fabric that had long since seen its day, now as this was a spur of the moment project while I was in store, I didn’t get before photos, but here is the finished item :


I recovered it in a fresh white and blue gingham fabric and re padded the seat to top, it was previously simply used as storage out the back on its way to the bin outside and is now available for £12 in store. The fabric was reclaimed from curtains they had been donated, and likewise the pillow to top was buried in a pile of stuff in the back so the cost to do this was £0 to the store.

Now having successfully proven my capabilities, I took home a tatty bedside cabinet that had been in store forever, eventually reduced to £2 and actually left outside on close of shop Saturday evening in the hopes someone would simply ‘ walk of with it’ Come Monday afternoon it was still sat looking pathetic lol  :


Poor sorry thing 😦


I cracked on with a tin of paint from my cupboard and had it looking good in less than 90 minutes, but I was still left with a funny placed hole where a lamp would have sat originally. What is a girl to do?

As it happens, a few days earlier, I was in store and picked up a couple of glass plates for mum, when I went to pay, I was offered two more similar plates that were headed for the bin, for nothing if I liked as they were supposed to be a cake stand but the adjoining rod was missing. Now obviously they had a hole, smack bang in the middle, and I thought holes! Off I went rummaging through my box of hoarded screws, nails, fittings, odd bits ‘et viola!’, a nut and screw which fitted absolutely perfectly:



Forgive me working in my lounge! Lol. So here we go, another beautiful piece of furniture now on sale in store, its up at £12, so again a free plate that would have been binned, a little spare paint I already had, a nut n bolt I kept for a reason lol and £0 cost to store.


The store manager is very pleased with the outcomes, has received many nice comments about the items and is allowing me to work now on whatever I like 🙂 Again, watch for updates x This is indeed a New Horizon for me 🙂

Weekend 13/14 February 2016:

This weekend I have taken on a few overdue projects around my home, as I was unable to get anything back from the shop owing to having moved mum to a new home this week.

My efforts at home have been satisfying though, and I will collect some things from Primrose monday/tuesday this week coming 🙂

Here is what I have done at home :

A very tatty looking large pouffe, long overdue a makeover :


Now reupholstered in a fresh green chenille fabric :


I opted to keep it a basic box shape rather than button it and have the cushion top, because I wanted a clean, contemporary look.  Whilst I was doing this yesterday, mum turned up with her footstool, broken! She asked if I wanted it before she threw it away, of course I had to help it :/


I have fixed it and recovered it to look great, and told mum she cant have it back as it now coordinates beautifully with the large pouffe lol x

I will confess, I invested in an electric staple/nail gun to complete my upholstery tasks, the effort of using a manual one finally broke me and I succumbed to power tool heaven, I would recommend this highly to anyone doing upholstery regularly or on a large enough scale to warrant working through more than 500 staples lol.

The next task was a coffee/games table that came from the charity shop but turned out to go well in my lounge, so I paid the price for it and kept it, and I finally got round to sorting it out:

Now you will notice, that my home is a bit of a chintsy, colourful place lol ,for the moment I love warm pastel colours, however because I love , old fashioned solid furniture I have a lot of wood in my lounge so I use black, grey, and browns to form a base then throw in some pastels for cheer,  it does work well together and I find a balance somehow, maybe it is just me though!

So then anyway, I cheated… Not like me, but I have done a lot this week 🙂 I bought some sticky back plastic rolls this week, just because I liked them, and decided my farmhouse table would benefit from a cover on its top, I had previously painted this in Authentic Red acrylic paint, its been this way for over 2 yrs though, so it got hit:

Along with a nest of 3 tables, well it looked so much nicer, and as its wipe clean plastic now, it should be a while before I have to worry again, more time for charitable projects!

WP_20160326_001 < Tasked with recarpetting stairs on a tight budget, I decided to follow the stripey, mixed colour them I have in my house, as you can see by the walls lol. I used carpet leftovers from other rooms and created a very individual look.

Dining room chairs, damaged from much use and owning cats, I chose to recover with hard wearing, washable vinyl fabric.

I was approached, to help make some items for donation to Heartlands Premature baby unit, having had an early baby myself, and thankful I never had to use the prem baby services on offer, I appreciate what it must be like for parents in worse situations. because of this, whilst I wasnt much use for anything else, poorly and with free hands, I chose to take a few days and whp up some hats, snuggle sacks and blankets. I did not use any patterns, these were made up as I went along and, in all honesty, as what I consider a novice knitter and crocheter – I was so impressed that I even managed a tny baby dress, that not only is practical for use allowing for tubes and such, but is also reversible to allow for choice in use. 🙂 Here are some pictures of the items:

In total I produced 36 premature baby hats, 4 blankets, 3 snuggle sacks, 1 dress with a matching headband and came out with a feeling of satisfaction, that at least whilst poorly, I was of help to someone. 🙂


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