Damien Wilton from BBC One’s The Great British Sewing Bee highlighted the difference your purchases will make at the opening of Emmaus Bolton’s new craft supplies store, with the gift of an upcycled outfit he made during Recycling Week on the show.

Mayor of Bolton Linda Thomas and Damien cut the ribbons to the Scrap Store and Recycle Centre at the special event on Wednesday 22 September. They were cheered on by the formerly homeless people, who are supported by Emmaus Bolton’s social enterprises, as well as volunteers, staff, trustees and partners at Derby Barracks on Fletcher Street.

Damien’s donates #gbsb dress

The denim dress Damien made during his television appearance will be on show for public viewing at Emmaus Bolton.

Damien said: “There’s so much going on at Emmaus Bolton. It’s a place that accepts people with experience of homelessness for who they are and helps them get back into the world. It’s also a social supermarket, a garden centre, café and somewhere making and selling secondhand and new goods and furniture. When I saw the wood workshop, I really wanted to have a go!”

“Before going on Sewing Bee I bought secondhand clothes and altered them to fit. I didn’t even think of deconstructing clothes and making something practical to wear. What Emmaus Bolton does is great because volunteers at the Recycling Centre are reusing old clothes people don’t want any more to sell on as fabric.

Star makes shirt from recycled strips

“I got a few items of material, buttons and thread from the Scrap Store to show that you can make something good from recycled material. You could say, I’ve learned a lot from being on the show, like lots of different techniques and how to put things together and make them aesthetically pleasing.”

The new Scrap Store stocks a wide range of reclaimed art, craft and textile supplies. These will be available to schools, artisans and community groups as well as the browsing customers. The goods have been turned into saleable items by volunteers from donations made by the local community at Emmaus Bolton’s Recycling Centre, paid for by The Bolton Fund and Emmaus UK.

Director Tony Stephenson said: “Emmaus Bolton has a proud history of self-sufficiency, so my thanks go to our community of charity beneficiaries, volunteers, trustees and staff, who have worked incredibly hard to make our Scrap Store happen.

“Our success relies on your donations, so we are incredibly grateful to the Mayor of Bolton and the Bolton star of The Great British Sewing Bee, Damien, for opening the Scrap Store and Recycle Centre, as well as the generous donation of the outfit Damien made on TV. We hope you all make a date to come and see the dress and browse our store.”

The Scrap Store is open from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. 

Take a closer look:

Bolton Cllr Musadir Dean and CEO Tony Stephenson outside the Recycle Centre
Macramé plant pot upcycled from reused fabric
Mayor Linda Thomas and consort, High Sheriff of Greater Manchester Diane Hawkins and Cllr Mudasir Dean browse the Scrap Store
Recycle Centre volunteers show Bolton Mayor Linda Thomas where donations are processed
Cllr Musadir Dean, CEO Tony Stephenson, Mayor Linda Thomas and her consort, High Sheriff of Greater Manchester Diane Hawkins and our trustee
Damien's fantastic shirt that he made from reusing recycled fabric, buttons and thread
CEO Tony Stephenson with the Mayor of Bolton and High Sheriff of Greater Manchester