Excellence Awards: Finance and Enterprise, Charity Trading - Winner: The Create Foundation

The Create Foundation: Found

The Found store
The Found store

The Create Foundation has set up a series of businesses to raise funds for its project, FareShare West Yorkshire, which is an independent franchise of the national charity FareShare.

The latest scheme, which supplies food to the needy and vulnerable, was the creation of the charity shop Found, which sells vintage clothes in the St John's Centre, Leeds. It stocks a mix of designer labels and one-off designs, featuring up-and-coming Leeds designers, and includes a personal shopping service and a dress agency offering high-end creations.

Inspired by Mary Portas in her TV series Mary, Queen of Charity Shops, the shop was up and running in under three months, in time for Leeds Shopping Week, which took place in October 2009. The foundation also organised 'donate days' for local businesses, built a loyal supporter base and hosted events to get people through the door.

Awards host Fred Macaulay with The Create Foundation's Sarah Dunwell and Gary StottThe charity said the shop owed its existence to close contacts with local networks and the recognition it had won for its brand. Local students and designers made a significant contribution, and the shop offered training and employment opportunities for vulnerable people in the area. The shop also received capital funding from the Communities and Local Government department.

"Found has become established as a place where vulnerable people are supported to rebuild their lives," the charity's entry said. "It is a showcase for what social enterprise can achieve in partnership with the private sector. Its vision has been translated into practice in ways that challenge preconceptions about charity shops, both in the shop's look and feel and in its range of goods and services."

Helen Verney, a judge and the finance director of the Diocese of London, said it was "a good example of how to set up a charity shop that really stretched its brand". She added that the shop had provided an example of how to do more with a typical charity shop.

 

Criteria

Awarded to a charity that has made effective use of its brand, knowledge or assets to increase income from its trading activities

Judging panel

Lyeloon Kazi, co-founder, Livity
John Kelly, head of client investments, CCLA Investment Management
Helen Verney, finance director, Diocese of London
Therese Wilson, head of retail, St Peter and St James Hospice and Continuing Care Centre

Highly commended

The Queen's Nursing Institute: Nursing Photography and Film Archive

Other finalist

Windmill Hill Community Forum: Telematics CIC

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