Winter newsletter 2014

What the Jelly?!


Hello Friends of Jelly!

This month’s issue is a little late and looks a little different, but you will soon understand why!

Jelly birthday picsOn Saturday 29th November we celebrated our First Birthday here at the shop! I know right?! We’ve been open a whole year?! It’s true. So to mark that accomplishment, with the help of my Volunteer Admin Assistant Diane, we have compiled an overview of ‘A year at Jelly’ to highlight some of the best bits from our first year of the project.  

October/November 2013  

  • Monday 14th October-I started working for Exeter Community Initiatives. 7 weeks later, after lots of planning, organising, calling in favours and hard graft, on Saturday 30th November, at 12pm Jelly opened its doors to the public for the very first time!

December 2013  

  • Our first customer signed up to Gift Aid their donations, LUSH Exeter donated some lovely things for our baby changing and feeding area, and we had our first Christmas at the shop.  

 January 2014

  • Diane came on board as my Volunteer Admin Assistant. She helped me to streamline our Gift Aid system & also built the foundations of our ‘Selling Safe Goods’ practices. And this was the month I met Gemma and she started volunteering at the shop…

February 2014

  • LUSH Exeter invited us to pitch up in their window for a weekend to promote the shop. We used it as a platform on the Exeter High Street to get our name out there! We also introduced the sale of ‘equipment’ including prams, baby baths, cots and much more. And, our 50th customer signed up for Gift Aid (in just 3 months).

March 2014

  • Selling equipment really started to take off so we shouted about it via Facebook, with an online catalogue of photographs.  
 And by…

…April 2014 50 items of equipment had already passed their safety checks!  

May 2014

  • We entered the Charity Retail Association Wow Factor Awards for best shop interior and best shop window. Although we didn’t win, we were featured on their website as a nominee!  

June 2014

  • Our number of ‘Gift-Aiders’ reached 100! (another 3 months on) and we were at Exeter Respect Festival badge-making with Laurel from Arrietty! This was also the month Poco Drom played in our little store for the very first time!

July 2014

  • Saw the launch of ‘Maternity at Jelly’, extending our product range out further again…AND, Gemma was successfully appointed as my new Assistant Manager. From Volunteer to Management in 6 months! I also worked with a team of employees in from the MET Office who were on a course with Common Purpose. In just a mere few hours they investigated the potential for an equipment rental system for Jelly.  

August 2014

  • We had our first in-store exhibition, proudly presenting Alise Ojay’s beautiful photography of her beloved Teddy Bear Mabel and friends to coincide with our ‘Jelly-Bears’ picnic. This was also the month that held the title for not only ‘Record Gift Aid Sales’ but the highest takings in one day Jelly had ever seen! AND. Poco Drom came back again-YAY!

September 2014

  • By now, 100 items had passed their safety checks. Pretty impressive stuff from Team Jelly I’d say?!

October 2014

  • ‘What the Jelly Is Gift Aid’ Campaign started, where we raised more awareness to how much difference this makes to our profits. It was clearly working as we had a record number of new Gift Aid Customers sign up for the month, taking our number of donators to 150! AND. Poco Drom came back again-WOOHOO!

November 2014  

So November arrived and by the end of it:  

  • Almost 7,000 people had purchased something from our little shop.  
  • 128 items had passed their Health & Safety checks.  
  • We reached 1,015 ‘likes’ on Facebook! (Thanks to Enactus and Re-Vision Exeter)
  • Our team stands at a strong 27 volunteers and counting!
  • The average number of items that passed their Health & Safety checks was 14 per month.
  • The number of Gift Aiders reached 172…and continues!
  • The average number of Gift Aid Items we sold per month was nearly 500.
  • Since April we had sold nearly 4000 Gift Aided Items!
  • Our total Gift Aid Sales exceed £10k!
  • A third of our sales are now Gift Aided!
  • The average number of new Gift Aiders per month is 12.
  • And, the most Gift Aiders to sign up in once month happened in November, which was 25! (Double our monthly average.)

Coming up in our second year…

  • Jelly Charity Shop Presents…
‘Skills for Employment through Volunteering’ NOCN Award. Entry Level.

Staying true to our Project Manifesto, we will be offering an alternative way to learn, gain work experience and prepare for employment. By ditching the classroom conventions and providing shop-floor learning we have written a course allowing volunteers to gain a qualification through a portfolio-based programme. It is designed to fit hand-in-hand with their volunteering role within the shop, however they contribute to the project, whether that’s on the shop floor or in a backstage capacity.

We will be offering the opportunity to gain this qualification to not only our existing Jelly-teers, but new recruits alike. Spaces are limited for round one and will be allocated subject to an initial assessment, with Information and Guidance (IAG) provided for applicants.

  • Gemma is heading-up the opening of an eBay shop as a fundraising vehicle to support Jelly’s financing. Limited Editions, Rarities and Collectables with be available on the big old world wide web.  
  • Monthly crafting sessions with Jelly-teer Dom from Exeter Crafts will continue every second Saturday of the month. And former Jelly-teer Aslihan will be launching Baby Massage classes for small groups in Jelly’s feeding and changing area.
  • AND. Poco Drom is back again, on January 10th at 2pm. Hip hip! Hooray!

Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support, feedback and passion for the project, it is such a group effort to make things happen.  

I am so proud to be heading up the project, but I just couldn’t do it without our volunteers, staff, trustees and most importantly, YOU – our customers!!!

Until next time Jelly Ladies and Gentlemen.

~Lyddi @ Jelly Xo