Doorstop Shop sells wooden goods from former rough sleepers

A NEW shop is selling hand-made wooden items crafted by former rough sleepers.

The Doorstop Shop is a new charity business, based at St John’s Church in Surrey Road, near Coy Pond, and also selling online via an eBay store.

Its hand-made and upcycled stock includes wooden items such as hedgehog houses, planters and phone stands, made in a carpentry workshop run by the local charity Faithworks.

One of the former rough sleepers making hedgehog houses said: “I love being down at the workshop – it gives me purpose in my day.

“I can now see a way forward that will not only help me put these new carpentry skills into practice, but also get some help in other areas of my life, like helping me to organise some driving lessons. That way I really believe I can restart my relationship with my son, and leave my old way of life on the street behind.”

The shop, which also serves coffee and cake, was formally opened by local vicar and Faithworks trustee the Rev Sarah Yetman.

She said: “It’s really exciting to have a charity shop window in a local church and selling online is a perfect blend of how to sell trainees’ handmade wooden gifts and donated items. People can buy great gifts and also buy into our ethos and desire to help ex-rough sleepers move on in their lives. Eating homemade cake and drinking coffee in a beautiful setting seems to be a great blend as well.”

David Chidwick, Faithworks homelessness projects manager said: “This year has seen so many people who were living on the street get into temporary accommodation, which is great.

“But with teams from the local churches, we at Faithworks, wanted to start offering them a chance to use and develop their skills and get away from the boredom that can so easily overwhelm. Having this e-shop now means we can start showing their talents to the world.”

Doorstop Shop manager Rob Cox said after the launch day: “It’s fantastic to see our local community come together to safely celebrate and participate in the launch of the Doorstop Shop, especially at a time when isolation and worry are often prevalent.

“People arrived knowing little or nothing about us and our goals, but all left with knowledge, happiness and quality gift wrapped purchases. We took plenty of orders for bespoke crafted goods too, which will delight the ex-rough sleepers in the workshop not only as it’s their hard work that makes this shop possible, but also that the money made from every sale goes right back to their support.”

The shop is open at St John’s each Saturday from 9am-12noon, and people can also donate quality items for sale on Wednesdays from 9-11am.

Details are at

Faithworks is one of the members of the Homelessness Partnership across the BCP council area, working with organisations from other sectors to help people find homes.