For this month’s ‘Meet the Scheme’, we spoke to Olivia McCann, CEO at Community RePaint Swindon.

So Olivia, what do you do at Scrapstore Resource Centre Swindon and why did you become a Community RePaint scheme?

Scrapstore Resource Centre Swindon is a community resource centre that redistributes materials and items within the local community for reuse that would otherwise be disposed of as waste.

We joined the Community RePaint network as it seemed like a great initiative to get involved with and links directly with our reuse ethos. As a Community RePaint scheme, we can prevent leftover paint from going to waste while directly benefiting our local community. Through Community RePaint we can help individuals, families, community organisations and charities on low income or in need of help to purchase paint at an affordable price, to brighten their homes.

Olivia at Community RePaint Swindon Community RePaint Swindon celebrate 21 years on the network

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

During a typical day at Community RePaint Swindon, we have members of the general public visit our store to view our paint selection. We assist our customers by opening up any tins of paint our customers are interested in, to show them that the colour within the tin matches what is painted onto the lid. The paint can then be purchased by the customers at affordable prices.

When we receive paint donations from businesses, traders and decorators, a member of staff and a volunteer work together to process the paint prior to placing it on the shelves on the shop floor. This process includes opening up each tin of paint to check it’s quality and then painting each lid with paint from its tin. Painting the lids of the paint tins makes it really easy for customers to identify the paint they need and be reassured that the colour they’re after is what’s in the tin. Once the tin lids have dried, a disclaimer label is popped onto each paint container and these processed tins are then added to the shelves in the shop.

Community RePaint Swindon's shelves Painted lids at Community RePaint Swindon

I’ve got two top tips for managing a Community RePaint scheme:

  1. Make sure there is one member of staff who oversees the Community RePaint project on a long-term basis. Then have volunteers work with that member of staff to run the project on a day-to-day basis.
  2. Pop the donation date onto each incoming tin of paint to your scheme. It takes a couple of seconds to add the date to each tin and this saves you a lot of hard work in the long run! It’s an easy way to always know how long each tin of paint has been on your shelves (helps with stock rotation!), and the handy trick enables you to work out what paint is selling well and what isn’t, plus what paint needs to be disposed of.


What have been Community RePaint Swindon’s biggest achievements thus far?

We’ve been a part of the Community RePaint network since 1999 and over the years we’ve developed and grown as a scheme. Since we first opened, we’ve seen a steady increase in the number of paint donations we receive from different supplies, such as Dulux Decorator Centres and Crown paints. This has meant each year we’re able to help more and more people within the local community.

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

Over the years we have been involved in lots of different local paint related projects. At the moment, we are involved in the first year of the Swindon Paint Fest, taking place 15-16th October, and have donated over 100 litres of paint towards this project.

Swindon Paint Festival

It’s been brilliant to be able to donate this paint towards the mural project as it helps the town to look better, positively impacting everyone in the local community. It also helps us to move on paint stock and raises awareness of our Community RePaint scheme.

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

It’s so important to make sure you fully prep for your painting project. Fill in any cracks, sand down any woodwork and remove dust from surfaces prior to painting. This will help you save time in the long run.

What’s next for Community RePaint Swindon?

We’ve been fundraising for years to buy a bigger building so we can increase the size of our Community RePaint scheme and we hope to find a new space within the next 18 months.

At the moment we only have the space to receive donations from businesses, trade and decorators. We hope once we have a larger premises that we can develop and expand the Community RePaint project further. This would enable us to collect paint donated by householders from local Household Waste Recycling Centres and have additional paint on our shelves to benefit more people within the local community.

Paint area at Community RePaint Swindon

For more information about Community RePaint Swindon, click here to view their scheme page. 

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