Restoration Station is a small vintage furniture shop making a big difference to people’s lives.

And the newest of SCT’s social enterprises is having a good week: they launched a new website on Tuesday, featured in the Evening Standard’s Design Spy column on Wednesday and are throwing an opening party on Thursday.

The event is to thank supporters, build stronger ties with neighbouring designers, and generally announce the shop’s existence to a wider community.

Sheona Alexander first had the idea to swing open the doors of SCT’s woodwork training space and do business.

“Vintage items were being transformed into funky, quirky pieces in our woodwork class. I thought ‘I love this stuff – I’d buy it, and there are loads of other people round here who would too.’”

What is Restoration Station?

Restoration Station restores vintage furniture, makes unique pieces from reclaimed materials and creates affordable bespoke items.

The project is a social enterprise that helps people in recovery from addictions to build confidence, learn new skills and gain work experience. This dramatically improves their prospects of finding work, which is vital for a lasting recovery.

Many of the trainees have lived in Acorn House – SCT’s residential recovery hostel right upstairs from the New Hanbury Project.

“It’s turned my life around. It’s amazing… The best thing I’ve ever done.”
Steve, trainee restorer.

Repairing furniture also saves a lot of bulky items from landfill or incinerators, so the project has environmental benefits too.

The shop is growing popular with locals on the lookout for bargains, vintage fans, creative professionals and craftspeople looking for something unique. Local businesses such as Ally Capellino, Ada, and Hoxton Gallery have commissioned bespoke work.

RS is now providing work experience for six people in recovery.

“It’s a fantastic project. I think that the power to have a skill and make something is incredibly restorative… something that really has an ability to change lives.”

Della Tinsley, East London Design Show

The launch party is by invitation only, but visitors are welcome at the Restoration Station shop during it’s limited opening days of Thursday 12.30pm – 5pm and Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm.

If you’d like to support this project, you can also donate furniture, or like and follow us on social media:

Big thanks also to our friends at Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation and Fentimans for providing tasty food and beverages and special thanks to Jodi Moss – specialist in design communications – who has planned and coordinated the Restoration Station launch event.