PUSH Charity Reuse Centre
We’re a user-led charity that supports people with a learning disability or additional support need, to become more included in the community. By using a Person-Centred approach we open up opportunities which are available to everybody else, in social, home or work situations. Our focus is on why people with learning disabilities or additional support needs might not be able to engage in certain activities, so literacy and numeracy form a large part of our work.
PUSH is part of the Employability Pipeline programme, a pathway of support that helps you get into work. Our project is the i-Work programme.
We run this programme in our PUSH Reuse Centre, which is a shop on South Street, Perth, and in our furniture warehouse on Lower Friarton Road, Perth. If you have a learning disability and/or additional support needs, and you’re ready to look for employment, we welcome you to come and have a chat to find out what interests you. Once we know where your interest lies then you can come and give it a go for a couple of mornings or afternoons.
There are so many different areas of work that you could learn about, including:
You can try some areas and see what suits you best. We aim to give everyone responsibility for an area, too, such as the music section, electricals, back office, shop windows, etc. We enable you to work to your strengths and your interests, so that you enjoy your work.
We also partner with Perth College’s Pathways Centre to allow you to improve your numeracy and literacy skills and gain recognised qualifications.
The Employability Pipeline is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).
PUSH CEO Catriona Palombo says, “We focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do. So when you come in to see us, we chat about what your interests are in life, what your skills are, what would interest you in the PUSH Reuse Centre/Warehouse then make the links which would create a person centred works skills development programme to suit you.
“Everyone gets an Individual Learning Plan, tailored to the next steps you’d like to take – learning a new skill, learning more about what you’re working on, training others, etc.
“We have a training calendar, so every month there will be training in a different aspect such as customer service or team-building.
“There are also peer mentors who adapt to everyone’s different learning styles – written, verbal, being shown, etc. – using these to support individuals effectively.”
We also have great connections with the other Employability providers so if you need support from one of them, too, we’ll put you in touch.
Anyone who has a learning disability, additional support needs or mental health difficulties and faces two or more barriers to work.
Some people might be referred here from another Employability Provider but you don’t need to be referred or contact anyone first. You can drop in to see us , call us on 01738 621929 or email [email protected].
Stephen Murray, Training Manager at PUSH, says, “Working in a structured way in our shop or warehouse gives our participants a sense of confidence, independence, self-reliance and focus.
“We have seen people come in and they’re shy of talking to the public, but little by little they have developed in confidence and started to enjoy engaging with customers.”
From your initial induction to your training plan, the whole process is person-centred, so you choose what you work on and what you learn, and that’s empowering. And there is so much you can learn about, such as reuse, recycling, upcycling and Scotland’s reuse standards, Revolve, for which PUSH have accreditation.
Stephen adds, “We also have a good relationship with schools, so young people who are planning to leave school at 16 can come to PUSH, up to a year beforehand, for a work-skills placement. That means you’ll have something in place for when you leave school, rather than starting from scratch and not knowing what to do.”
Catriona says, “We’d like to do more social enterprise. We may have a big development coming off on a site at Inveralmond Industrial site, adjacent to the recycling centre. It’s been on the cards for about two years, and we’re waiting to hear about funding. That would allow us to provide more training, skills development and employment opportunities for additional people facing barriers to employment. We’d like to collaborate more with the other reuse and charity shops in Perth, under the European Social Fund, providing other work experience, work placements and jobs. And perhaps collaboration on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling (WEEE), working at repair and reuse, which would provide training for young people and members of the public. We have registered PAT Testers (young people who have a learning disability or additional support need) employed in our organisation and we have thought about developing this as a business.
If you would like to find out more about how you can learn new skills, work in a business and develop your self-confidence and independence, you can pop in and visit PUSH email [email protected] or call 01738 621929. Our shop hours are 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.
We’ll have an initial chat to find out about you and your interests, then, if you’d like to try an hour or two, (before deciding if you want to register on the programme) we can arrange a time for you to come into the reuse shop or warehouse. You can even try it out on the same day you come in.
If you’re an employer, charity or other organisation who’d like to work with us or find out more about how we support our participants, please call 01738 621929 or email [email protected].
Read about the support that some of our other Employability providers are offering: