Tag Archives: retail

“Working with Scope is never boring”

Guest post from Malt Films – the creative team behind our new shop stock appeal film – a spoof of the iconic Cadbury’s Milk Tray ads. We’re aiming to get one million items donated to our shops this July – and we hope you can help us!

Here Malt Films talk about how it came about, and how Scope have challenged their thinking towards disability. 

It was a hot spring day, which is lucky in England. Even at 7am as we unloaded equipment and explored the luxurious home that would be our workplace for the next 13 hours, the camera crew and director were discussing the best order of the day. The challenge was that although we were filming in strong sunlight, the film needed to look like it was nighttime, and the position of the sun and the shadows would be important.

Stunt man dressed in black standing on a high wallThe stunt man – a ridiculously talented 24-year-old called Pip, was being given makeup and everyone on set was excited for the moment he would jump (hopefully unharmed) from the upper floor balcony. We were rushing to get as much filmed as possible before our star, Adam Hills, arrived at 9.30am; and so we were pressing-on, filming stunts that would make even a hardened athlete envious – it would be a tight schedule!

There’s one thing we have come to learn working with Scope – it’s never boring. We’ve met loads of incredible people with stories that highlight why we Storyboard artwork sketches of different scenes for the filmneed to change society so that disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. We’ve also been helping out on Scope’s current End The Awkward campaign that’s challenging people about their attitudes towards disability with honest personal anecdotes from disabled people. So when we were asked to help Scope produce the 2015 Great Donate stock appeal film, there was a real buzz in the studio.

This year’s film would be a spoof of the classic Cadbury’s Milk Tray adverts and spoofs are not always easy. How similar can the films be for it to work?  Will the original advertisers mind? How do you turn a chocolate box into a Scope donation bag? These were all questions we had to answer as well as writing the script, producing a storyboard, and getting permission to use the iconic music from the original advert.

Holly Candy smiling, holding a donation bag and walking down a streetThe shoot would be split into two days. A full day in Buckinghamshire, where Adam Hill’s character would break into a stately home to leave a donation bag for a lucky woman. This sees him overcome a high perimeter wall, navigate some aggressive dogs (comically played by ‘sausage dogs’), and some laser beams (because all good films have laser beams). The second day would be a half day at a Scope shop in north London where we meet Holly Valance from Neighbours, as the lucky lady who learns (spoiler alert) that she may not have been the only person he visited that night.

Adam Hills standing next to the stuntman in a garden, both dressed in blackThis project proved to be as exciting as we’d expected. A healthy rivalry developed between Adam Hills and his “ridiculously good looking” stunt double, who had been drafted in for some of the more impossible moves.

Adam rivaled Pip with his own cartwheels in a battle of who could perform the most stunts. We had a classic ‘continuity blues’ moment when Adam arrived wearing a bright yellow and green prosthetic leg as opposed to his usual skin-coloured one. And to make it more dramatic, a swan decided to perform a series of excitable manoeuvres of its own, right in the middle of the dilemma.

Adam Hills sitting on a wooden bench and holding a sausage dog on his lapSuch is the nature of film-making, for all the best laid plans there are always challenges that need to be overcome and unexpected moments you might film that become unscripted nuances. There is one big unscripted gag in the final film – can you guess what it is?

If you’re interested to see some of this first hand, we also produced a behind-the-scenes film too:

All in all, we’re extremely proud to have been a part of such a dynamic, entertaining and challenging campaign.

What do you think? Has it inspired you to take a bag of donations to your nearest Scope shop

5 tips to help you declutter your home

This month we’re asking you to become a #GreatDonateHero, and take a bag of donated goods to your local Scope shop.

Jasmine runs Change Your Space and is a member of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers UK. Here she gives her top five tips to help you declutter your home.   

I am a professional organiser. I climb up into lofts with people who are moving house and daunted by having to delve into the recesses of their home. I listen while clients sort through the wardrobe of a Bed with loads of clothes piled on top of itloved one who has passed. I’ve gone into homes where no one else has been for five years and you can hardly make it into the hallway.

Through it all I’ve learnt a major lesson: it’s rarely just about the stuff. Sorting is likely to be an emotional journey through your identity, history, relationships and self-esteem –  but that is an amazing journey too.

There are great benefits to a good review of your belongings:Large pile of games, board games and toys spilling out of a cupboard

  • Doing your bit: recycling and charitable donations are good for the environment and community
  • Financial: the average home has about £600 of unused items residing in cupboards and lofts
  • More space: it is estimated that we would gain 30% more room from conducting a review
  • More efficiency: 80% of what we file we never refer to again
  • Time saving: we spend 20 minutes a day trying to find important items that are hiding
  • Clarity: the average 10 year old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 dailyBox full of scattered paper and documents

Knowing it’s good for us may still not be enough to commit time to the process. So how do we make progress with our sort out and stay motivated?

My top five tips to personally equip ourselves for a review:

  1. The power of memories comes from accessing them regularly and not the volume.

    This can be a key way to navigate through inherited items, children’s pictures, and family photographs. Think of a format by which you can be in touch with that memory. I’ve created a scrapbook of photos of a ball gown collection with the stories associated with them for a client. This brought great joy to her and the three wardrobes of clothing could be re-homed.

  2. Celebrate finding something you thought was lost.

    This will definitely happen. It’s usually in the first hour of a sort session, but we always take time to celebrate this find. Be pleased with yourself. When a birthday present was rediscovered we had a little celebration there in the loft. So many of our belongings are about joyous times. Take time to reconnect with that.

  3. Have structure and parameters to your sort.

    This can be that you are tackling this one cupboard for one hour and you have your recycling and donations bag at the ready. It will call you back to task when emotions can start to cloud what you are doing.

  4. Be content with a first sift.

    Rather than agonising over whether to keep items that may have sentimental poignancy, satisfy yourself to go through the area making easy decisions first. Where is the excess cardboard? Where are the clothes you can donate easily? Leave tougher decisions to a second sift when you have made progress on clearing a space first.

  5. Make a memory box.

    There has been much written about whether an item sparks joy, and the psychology of making decisions, but I never presume what people want to keep and what they wish to let go. What I do find helps is having a memory box where items are to be kept well. When you know you have a few things kept safe that remind you of key chapters, you don’t feel as if you have to keep everything.

Feeling inspired? Watch our #GreatDonateHero film below, find your local Scope shop and get sorting!

If you’d like to find out more from Jasmine about decluttering, just email her and she can send you some tips for your particular problem area: jasmine@changeyourspace.co.uk

Scope’s retail innovation challenge

Staff members huddled in front of Scope logo

Scope has 237 charity shops across England and Wales. And their recent foray into innovation (remember the Strip for Scope campaign?) has inspired us to undertake a new project – Scope’s Retail Innovation Challenge.

Creativity, enthusiasm and a willingness to go above and beyond to make a successful shop were all part of the selection criteria to identify a group of 10 shop managers and assistant managers to help us find new ways to boost shop profits and generate more income, to help Scope make the world a better place for disabled people. It was also a great chance for us to put the innovation process we’ve been developing through its paces.

Staff members working around conference table
Staff members working around a conference table

We kicked off the challenge with a two day workshop for the 10 participants who travelled from as far away as Skipton, Totnes, Liverpool and Hull to gather at our head office in London.

Their challenge was to identify an idea for increasing profit in their shop that they could take back and test over the next eight to 10 weeks. With less than two days to do this it was a big ask!

But as an excited and expectant new group, we dived straight in to insight gathering, problem shaping, ideation and getting into the shoes of customers and donors. By 3pm on Friday each participant emerged weary but exhilarated with two promising ideas that they could take back to their shops to begin to test with our support.

Participant Hannah Croft (Assistant Manager in Scope’s Liverpool shop) shared her experience of her two day trip to London:

“My day started at 5.53am when my train left New Brighton, set for Liverpool, where I would then travel to Euston. It was a stormy morning and I thought I could have been blown all the way to London. When I finally got to Euston the sun was shining and it was warm enough for me to take off my scarf and mittens! I didn’t know what I was going to be doing or who I would meet over the next two days. I was excited but I was a little nervous too!

Once at head office I met the team and we started to piece together the outline of what was in store. From that moment the room never lost the buzz of conversation, sharing ideas, experiences and inspiration.

In the Scope shop where I work, my manager and I have different ways of working, different personalities and views, and that’s no bad thing! It means we normally get the best of both. But it was nice to spend time with people who seemed to think like I did.

We were told that we had a huge opportunity to generate ideas for our own shops and trial them. We were also told we would have few limitations to what we could trial in our shops, as long as it was realistic and in budget. We spent two days working as a team on areas of potential for our own individual stores. I felt like I was 10 again, stood in Toys ‘R’ Us after winning the lottery! It was just an overwhelming feeling of excitement and playfulness.

I have been given the chance to break away from the rules, the norms and guidelines and potentially achieve something great for our store and for Scope. I left the workshop on day two bouncing off the walls. I rang my area manager as soon as I could to tell her every detail I could remember. I spoke so fast and excitedly that she had to tell me several times to stop and breathe.

On returning to my store, I must be honest, it was a bit like being brought back down to reality. Our store is really busy and I am still to have the chance to discuss properly with my manager and settle on the path I should take. I have done some work in my own time on my areas of interest and am looking forward to progressing through the project and seeing what I can achieve. I like to hope I brought a little of the sunshine from London, back to Liverpool.”

Hannah and the other nine participants will be testing out their ideas over the next eight to 10 weeks, letting us know how they fare along the way, what works and what doesn’t! We look forward to sharing what happens.

Ruth, Zoe & Rosa

Scope’s Innovation Team