The project grew out of a three year employment pilot project. It became apparent that service users with complex needs and little or no work experience needed part time paid work in a supportive environment which could be adapted to their needs. The occupational therapist overheard a charity discussing the high cost of decorating their group room. This seemed like an opportunity to provide a little paid work to a couple of service users with who wanted to devolp their practical and decorating skills. We did it at a third of the price that had been quoted. The occupational therapist then sought similar work and set about decorating a couple of NHS premises with a few service users in an ad hoc way.
When the pilot project finished the occupational therapist was able to partner up with Lambeth Vocational Services to establish Re-Cover on a more formal footing. Motivated service users were recruited who were keen to learn or use their decorating skills.
Since January 2015 the decorators have seldom been without two days work a week within a variety of Slam and charitable organizations premises. They have decorated both inside and out including: window frames, doors, porches, waiting rooms, corridors, therapy rooms, art galleries and offices.
The project currently employs 8 people part time, including two administartors. The team are all very committed to the project and are attending staff meetings on a voluntary basis, contributing ideas and suggestions as to the improvement of our service. The name Re-Cover came from a decorator in such a meeting. With time, as the team have learnt the job and responsibilities, they now take a part in estimating, liaison with clients, choice of equipment, establishing and servicing the website, accounting and management. They make Re-Cover the success it is with feedback from customers being not only complimentary about the quality of the decorating but also the friendly helpful decorators.