For this month’s ‘Meet the Scheme’, we spoke to Karen Tozer, Programme Manager at Community RePaint Hull & Humber.

Inside Community RePaint Hull Community RePaint Hull mural

So Karen, what do you do at Groundwork’s ‘The Shed’ and why did you become a Community RePaint scheme?

Groundwork is a charity with a green heart. We work across Yorkshire enabling local people in the community to make positive changes to their lives, to live and work in greener ways.  We develop, design and host a range of projects to support local communities, such as creating parks and community gardens to enable people to access nature and improve their emotional and physical well-being. We also have our Green Doctors initiative – an energy debt advice and support service that aims to help those living in cold homes. The Shed is a project developed by Groundwork Yorkshire for all those who enjoy making and doing.

Hull’s Community RePaint scheme began back in 2012, run by Paul Clarke and the team at Visibility. In July 2021, Paul retired and Groundwork took over the Community RePaint scheme as we had worked previously with Paul and were luckily in the process of taking on The Shed Building.

We decided to change the scheme’s name to ‘Hull & Humber’ to reflect that we are expanding into the Humber region of  North East Lincolnshire, to enable communities along the Humber to benefit from our Community RePaint scheme and use affordable, surplus paint for their painting projects.

Alongside running the Community Repaint scheme, we offer daily drop-in sessions for people who want to come and learn woodwork and upcycling skills, soft crafts and more.  We have dedicated woodwork, metalwork and soft craft areas, plus a sewing room, used by locals, aged seven to 87! We run numerous other sessions to help the community, like women’s skill share, pupil enrichment, and garden shedders. Visit our Facebook page to find out more about these activities.

Inside Community RePaint Hull Inside Community RePaint Hull

Can you tell us what your typical working day is like and possibly share your top tip for managing your business?

There really is no typical day for us at The Shed which is one of the joys of our work. One day we may be dealing with a paint donation from a local business, and the next we may be supporting someone suffering with anxiety to access energy debt advice or a free cooker.

At Groundwork, we are very early on in our Community Repaint journey. In this short time is to set-up good partnerships with local businesses that donate their paint, and other local organisations that can help support and promote your work, in ways that are often unexpected.

Another tip is to never underestimate the power of paint and how discussions over paint can really enable people to open up and talk about themselves. It has enabled us to support people in so many different ways, and it all started with a conversation about paint.

Community RePaint Hull & Humber turned 10 in 2022, how did you celebrate and what have been your scheme’s biggest achievements thus far?

To celebrate our tenth anniversary, we held a half-day event at The Shed and invited the public, local community group donors, existing customers and our wider service users to join in the celebrations.  Our biggest achievement thus far I think is to still be here and still growing.


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Do you have any stories from the community you’d like to share?

This year we have been able to help a local artist, who has been working with Ukrainian refugees to create a wonderful mural on an old metal container, using leftover paint from our scheme. We have also provided paint to the Library of Stuff to paint their new community store and enabled Riding For The Disabled to repaint their equipment and stables. We have also provided and delivered paint to a lady suffering with severe anxiety, enabling her to redecorate her living room.

Container mural using paint from Community RePaint Hull & Humber

Do you have any painting tips that you can share with us?

If you want to get a distressed look when upcycling furniture, sprinkle rock salt onto the wet paint and allow to dry before sanding.  When you sand, this will give a lovely effect that looks more like gradual aging than dry brush techniques.  You can use PVA  glue to create a crackle glaze effect. Paint your wood with a dark colour, such as black, allow it to dry and then apply a coat of PVA. When it has dried a little but is still tacky, apply your light coat of paint over the top and dry with a hair dryer.

What’s next for Community RePaint Hull & Humber?

We would like to secure some additional funding to help us develop our scheme further, to collect and redistribute even more paint in the Hull & Humber area.

For more information about Community RePaint Hull & Humber, click here to view their scheme page.

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