‘Project Butterfly,’ is a companion led project that is not only about transforming pieces of furniture but also about harnessing new skills, rejuvenating minds and fostering a community where mental health thrives alongside sustainability and innovation.

Several committed companions volunteered to be part of the team to initiate the upcycling project and are now keen to move the project forward, with ambitious plans for the future.

With a keen eye for potential and a lot of creativity, companions breathe new life into donated items, ranging from furniture to household essentials, into rejuvenated treasures destined to find new homes through Emmaus South Wales’ charity shops.

Companion, Dean, has embarked on an inspiring journey, crafting a kitchen island from pallet wood and a donated tabletop. Along with his day-to-day duties working in the shop or on the delivery van, having this project has given Dean a creative focus. ‘I love having the opportunity to learn new skills through creativity. I sent a photo of the project to my brother who couldn’t believe I’d made something so similar to what my sister in-in-law had recently bought for a few hundred pounds. I realised, I’d made something that could be worth a lot of money, that made me feel great! I really look forward to coming to the shop each morning as I’m enjoying upcycling so much, I’m so grateful to Emmaus for that’.

Similarly, companion Jimmy has found his niche in upcycling mirrors from donated records, adorning the shop with unique pieces that captivate customers’ attention. Jimmy says ‘We have a lot of older style mirrors donated so I’ve been upcycling them with records. When a customer bought one recently, it felt amazing, I couldn’t help but smile’.

Beyond the workshop, Project Butterfly has sparked a sense of camaraderie within the Emmaus community. Evenings are alive with conversations, as companions exchange ideas, share tips, and celebrate each other’s creations. This sense of belonging has not only uplifted spirits but also fostered stronger bonds and enhanced communication among companions.

Discussions are now underway to expand the project further, with plans to establish an upcycling pod in the garden — a testament to the enduring spirit of innovation and collaboration within Emmaus South Wales.

If you would like to help, we are always on the lookout for donations of paint, wallpaper, sticky back plastic and DIY supplies such as sandpaper screws, nails glue, anything that could be useful for our project! Donations can be dropped off at our Tremains Road shop (Tremains Road Bridgend CF31 1TZ) or you can book a free collection on our website here.