Second-hand Challenges Workshop 4 – Community Welfare

Second-hand Challenges Series, Workshop 4

Community Welfare in Second-hand Spaces

Just send an email to Alida at paysonAB (at) to register

For the 20th May workshop on community, we are bringing researchers and practitioners together to talk about how second-hand spaces of many kinds – such as repair cafés, sewing meet-ups, designer’s studios, charity shops, men’s sheds, to name only a few – have become important spaces of everyday community welfare.

We want to talk about how people use those spaces to come together, build relationships, get what they need for their households, families, neighbourhoods, and projects, and strengthen mutual aid. They are vital, open, accessible community resources.

But we also want to think about the strains on these community spaces and people. The pandemic, rising inequality and poverty, and state welfare cuts mean people often show up with serious needs, health problems, and other vulnerabilities, for example. Some second-hand spaces might not be set up or have the resources for what different people need, or how people are actually using those spaces.

How might we address these pressures and tensions? What can we learn from second-hand community spaces in the past, and good practice in the present? And how might we better respond to and build up the welfare of our communities through second-hand projects?

**FOR YOUR CALENDARS: Final event for the series will be Friday, 17th June – hybrid in Cardiff and online

** As ever, all participants can receive a £20 e-gift card to The Charity Shop Gift Card

Programme – Workshop 4 – Community Welfare

We’ll hear about how sisters Sarah Valentin and Julia Harris of Dati (check out their one-off zero waste pieces, such as their new ‘rubbish jumpers‘!) have been working to connect and care for communities of makers at The Sustainable Studio.

We will also hear from Elle Gray, Trainee Clinical Associate Psychologist, talk about social prescribing, and how connection, community and volunteering (in second-hand spaces!) links with health.

We will also hear from Cardiff-based modest designer Haifa Shamsan, of Maysmode about her work upcycling garments that bring together cultures, and building community online.

On the research side, we will get some historical background from Dr George Gosling, who will talk about ‘Second-hand as job creation and salvation in late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain’, the Salvation Army, and their salvage and waste paper operations.

George is working on two relevant books: a history of charity-run shops, and a collection co-edited with Dr Grace Millar on ‘retail and community in modern Britain’: “with each chapter exploring case studies in the impact of family, community and social relations on retail and shopkeeping in recent centuries”.

We will stitch our workshop series themes into a tidy circle with thoughts from artist, writer and researcher Claire Wellesley-Smith, who will talk with us about her projects linking community making, textile arts and health.

And we will hear from Dr Delyth Edwards, a Sociologist of Care Experience, talk about her research into everyday participant and ‘the cultural economy of charity shops’.

And I (Alida Payson) will be talking about my recent research into charity shops as welfare spaces under austerity –  how we might think of charity shops as part hospital, part Jobcentre, part foodbank of things, and even part prison.

More speakers TBC

We’d love for you to join us!

Just send an email to Alida at paysonAB (at) to register.

Find out more about the workshop organisers – Rhiannon Craft, Maya Wassell-Smith, Violet Broadhead, Alida Payson.

The Second-hand Challenges Workshops are funded by a Cardiff University ESRC-Impact Accelerator Award, and by the School of Journalism, Media, and Culture.