The Computer Club
Practical computer skills for men who had been out of work or had never worked.
The early concept of Renewal North West came from the work of Wesley and Alison Downs working full time as Christian workers on the estate of Wythenshawe, Manchester. The work was amongst young people, many of whom were unemployed. A weekly course was setup to teach practical computer skills to men who had been out of work or had never worked. Building computers from parts provided an excellent way to motivate interest. This course was run at Brownwood Hall Church and commenced in 2002 and was always linked to a discussion about the Bible and Christianity.
Renewal North West Begins!
The success of the computer course led to the setting up of an unincorporated charity called Renewal North West in 2004, becoming incorporated in 2012. The formation of a charity led to the operation moving from Wythenshawe to Meadow Mill, Water Street, Stockport in February 2005. With the extra space the work not only incorporated computer refurbishment, but also a furniture reuse programme was started which gave help to several people who had been involved with the work in Wythenshawe. The Bible time continued to be a feature and has been throughout the development of the charity.
The residential programme
Providing accommodation to ex-offenders.
In 2006, accommodation at the home of Wesley and Alison was added to the charities activities and this provided much needed help to ex-offenders and homeless people who had become Christians and wanted to get a fresh start away from the chaos of their old drug and alcohol centred lives. Over the years help has been given to individuals whose lives were transformed by Jesus Christ and Renewal North West was used to provide a home and a family to people wanting to change from their old way of life.
Helping the Helpless
Showing the practical love of God to people in need.
Renewal North West gave help to many homeless people in Manchester city centre at a drop-in centre and street work done amongst those sleeping on the streets of Manchester. Food and hot drinks were provided with many items of clothing.
Throughout the years it has always been the desire of Wesley and Alison to show the practical love of God to people in need and to share the good news of Jesus Christ to those who would listen. Our desire is that lives maybe transformed by bringing hope through Jesus Christ.
The Renewal Story Moves to Shaw Heath!
On January 1st 2019, Renewal North West opened the doors to its new showroom and warehouse facility. Following news that Meadow Mill was to be turned into flats, daily prayer was sought for God’s guidance, provision and protection and He once again proved His faithfulness. God presented us with the perfect location to continue His work, in Shaw Heath, Stockport. The showroom has far greater visibility to the public, it is in a community that greatly benefits from our work and the footfall has increased abundantly.
The renovation work took 15 months to complete and even though this project was on a scale far greater than anyone had imagined or anticipated, every penny was provided for and every worker was protected. Renewal has seen huge growth in terms of our workload, workforce and customer base since we opened and it has facilitated a more professional, practical and personable approach. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and words cannot do justice to the wonder of what God has done at Renewal, so please come and experience it for yourself…..we pray that you will be lost for words too!!!
Joining the Re-use revolution
Stockport House Clearances Launches
In November 2020, Renewal North West became the proud owners of Stockport House Clearances, it’s very own house clearance company. This business has steadily grown, and we now have a dedicated house clearance team here at Renewal. The team are keeping very busy and often have help from many of our volunteers. Stockport House Clearances has a 5-star rating on Google and we are delighted to say some very supportive repeat customers as well!
Computers to the community
Community Computers Launches
Community Computers was set up in January 2021 to help the local community in Stockport get access to quality, affordable computers, and IT devices. We specifically wanted to help those on a low-income access technology that they would normally struggle to access. So far, we have helped hundreds of digitally excluded families and individuals across Stockport access affordable devices.
We were also delighted to announce that in March 2022 we began to deliver a similar scheme to the residents of Manchester, with the support of Manchester City Council. We look forward to helping to deliver, for as many people as possible, a means to tackle digital exclusion across both boroughs.
Dedicated E-commerce site
Our E-commerce Operation moved to Bankfield Trading Estate in Reddish. As this side of the charity became very popular during 2020, we outgrew the storage space at our main shop in Shaw Heath. We now have a 2,300 sq.ft unit to house all the items that get listed on our e-commerce sites. We have plenty of space for storage for the wider charity as well as a photography space and packing station.
White goods, for everyone
Community Appliances Launches
We launched our Community Appliances department both in store and online. This involved commercial moves in the showroom, new signage and an eBay shop. We acquire new stock every week either through donations or by sourcing in bulk for refurbishment by our inhouse team. We offer appliances starting from as little as £59.
Improving customer experience in the shop
We aim to continue to help those within our local community to access low-cost furniture, appliances, and computer equipment, as well as bric-a-brac, toys and clothing. We have been very focussed on improving the customer experience in our shop. The showroom has undergone many transformations in the way of floor moves, new fixtures and improved processes. By this time next year, we are sure the shop will look completely different again. Just because we are a charity shop, it doesn’t mean we have to look and feel like one.
Cake and a brew, just for you
Refresh Coffee House Launches
In February 2022, we were delighted to complete the full redevelopment of 65 Shaw Heath. This development has enabled us to start using the two-bedroom, first floor flat for our Renewal Living project and the ground floor accommodation has been fitted out as brand-new coffee shop.
‘Refresh’ is a friendly and cosy coffee house which operates as part of Renewal North West Christian charity shop. Its location next to the main furniture store on Shaw Heath means we have our own street front entrance and access via the main shop.
We serve fresh coffee, a selection of speciality teas, and hot chocolate. We also offer a wide selection of sandwiches, soup, crisps, scones, cakes, traybakes and other confectionery. It is our aim to provide a safe, pleasant, and friendly environment based on Christian values for our customers and local residents to enjoy, either when visiting Renewal North West or just passing by.