Project to help vulnerable adults get back on track sets out stall in Letchworth

Social Enterprise business leader for Recover Ian Block.

Social Enterprise business leader for Recover Ian Block. - Credit: Archant

A project which helps vulnerable adults piece their lives back together is setting out its stall in Letchworth.

Recover is a social enterprise aimed at helping adults who have been treated for alcohol or drug dependency, are homeless or have mental health issues.

Volunteers – who all have troubled backgrounds – transform old unwanted furniture into beautiful items, which are then sold and the money ploughed back into the project.

Recover, which has a workshop in Welwyn Garden City but has helped people from all walks of life from all over the county, is opening a retail unit at The Green House on Station Road in Letchworth at the weekend.

Recover is the brainchild of Ian Block, who used to be a key worker assessing people with alcohol or drug dependency and realised there was a major lack of support for people who have worked hard to kick their habit.

Ian gave up his job to start Recover in a bid to help people rebuild their lives.

With funding from Herts County Council, he moved into a unit in Welwyn Garden City in January 2013, where volunteers are taught traditional artisan methods of painting and restoring furniture, as well as upholstery. They can also take accredited courses in computer skills, fire marshalling, manual handling, first aid and food hygiene.

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He said: “The Green House is exciting for us because we don’t have any retail presence in the county.

“We are looking at increasing our income from sales because our funding stops next year. We will just see what happens.”

Jenny Jones, who runs The Green House upcycling emporium, said: “They are taking on one of the units because we like to support local groups, and there are a lot of similarities to what we do – although we have our different styles.

“It will be great to have them here and we can learn from each other. We both enjoy upcycling and try to turn things people don’t want into things they really want, using all sorts of techniques.

“I’m incredibly excited. Letchworth has gone heavily down the arts and crafts route and Recover will be the jewel in the crown.”

For more information about Recover, visit

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