Rainbow Rising brings a beacon of hope to Southside this year as the organisation fills the large empty space previously occupied by Debenhams with a multitude of charitable organisations.

 

Christmas shoppers can support the local community by snapping up preloved gifts, grabbing a snack from the café or even having their bike fixed. They’re also able to take a moment to be inspired by new artists, grab a game of ping pong or even relax in the chill-out zone. This multi-storey takeover is the first Rainbow Rising initiative, from the charity Temporary Use Aid, who partner with landlords to provide charities with rent-free, temporary accommodation and a platform to inspire the world.

To continue to bring people together during this difficult time, a special zone has been created for visitors to cover the walls with messages thanking key workers for their tireless efforts throughout the global pandemic.

The store includes a Wandsworth Oasis pop-up, selling donated furniture, books, accessories, household items, electricals, gifts and toys. The shop will raise funds for local HIV support and prevention projects across London, with a focus on Wandsworth and neighbouring Lambeth.

The ground floor features second-hand furniture provided by Wandsworth Oasis and upcycled by unemployed adults who have been trained in upholstery at South Thames College. The college continues to recruit young people to become a part of their training  programmes, which help adults with practical and business skills.

 Fix Your Cycle will be onsite with a pop-up bicycle workshop offering repairs and servicing for a discounted price, as well as selling a range of refurbished quality bikes. The workshop supports the social enterprise Recycle Your Cycle which works with the prison service to train prisoners in bicycle repair, helping with their rehabilitation and future employment prospects. These refurbished bicycles are subsequently sold via the UK charity sector.

 Second-hand and upcycled furniture is also available from the Richmond Furniture Scheme. The money raised will continue to help the organisation support families and individuals in desperate need of their services.

 Rework is Groundwork London's refurbish and reuse initiative, where furniture and white goods are given a second life, repaired by trainees who are getting back into the workplace. Visitors can see the goods on display before being passed on to charity retailers and social enterprises, who sell them at affordable prices.

 The community café run by BondedThruCancer gives customers an opportunity to satisfy their hunger whilst also supporting the BAME cancer community. The money raised will allow those undergoing treatment to continue to have free meals with a BTC loyalty card. The BondedThruCancer Charity Shop selling afrocentric garments will also raise funds for this cause with part of the proceeds going towards their affiliate Amaya For Africa which supports women in Ghana with Breast Cancer.

 Divine Rescue are offering free services such as training, mentoring and coaching for the local unemployed residents to acquire life skills. They are also using their area as a food bank to provide support for those in crisis.

 Visitors can explore the art gallery installed by The Muse, take a seat in the chill-out zone or play on the tables provided by Table Tennis England. Over the coming weeks the installation will continue to grow with plans for yoga and meditation sessions as well as new charities joining, such as the RSPCA who will be selling second-hand books.

 As well as services available directly to customers, charities are using the space to help continue their normal activities. Hillsong Church, in partnership with LoveYourNeighbour,

will be using the space as a food distribution hub, alongside engaging people in career coaching and financial education to help get them out of the situation they’re in. The operation already delivers thousands of items a week to those across London who have been left without the means to buy food.

 Women's Consortium continue to provide a wide variety of wellbeing and personal development services for individuals and organisations through various models of therapeutic counselling, cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT), trauma or complex support, NLP, Personal Development, couple & family therapy; training and group workshops.

 For more information on Rainbow Rising contact:

Lisa Birch                    [email protected]            07709041900

Shaylesh Patel            [email protected]

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

 Rainbow Rising (https://rainbowrising.org.uk/) is an initiative by charity Temporary Use Aid (www.tuaid.org), which is supported by ASTOP, a leading ethical rates mitigation expert. Rainbow Rising was created as a result of Empty Rates mitigation to help both charities and landlords benefit from a truly cost-effective, ethical partnership.

 Rainbow Rising champions the charity-landlord partnership because it is widely accepted to be the most ethical rates reduction solution. ASTOP and Temporary Use Aid worked with LandSec to make this initiative possible.

 Founder of Rainbow Rising and trustee of Temporary Use Aid charity, Shaylesh Patel is an experienced, qualified accountant who works at the heart of the ASTOP network and brings a deep understanding of property and financial efficiency.

 The seven pillars underpinning Rainbow Rising are:

Relief - of poverty

Arts - culture and heritage

Identity - equality, diversity, religion

Neighbourhood - crime prevention, citizenship and community development

Being - health and sport

Opportunity - education and volunteering

World - environment, animal welfare