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Stepping Forward with The Old Needle Works

Tucked away on Britten Street, just around the corner from Redditch Town Centre Bus Terminal is a hidden gem. The Old Needle Works Foundation is a charity focused on mental wellbeing, supporting those with hidden disabilities and using our diet to improve our mental health. There are several private treatment centres and a martial arts gym on the premises as well for those looking for more.

They also run the Step Forward Work Placement project that is designed to help anyone looking for a job to gain some valuable skills (But perfect for young adults with no work experience, learning difficulties or autism for example). The charity shop opened in April 2021 and is growing in products each week. The Café will offer a plant-based menu and will be opening on the 1st November 2021.

Step Forward Work Placement (we will refer to as SFWP) is a 9-week course on Mondays 10am – 1pm in the classroom / meeting room, and then 4 hours the week of voluntary work to gain experience in:

  • Barista Basic Training – Learn how to use a professional coffee machine and serve up some fantastic drinks.

  • Warehousing – Basic understanding of a shops supply chain.

  • Pricing – How to price up items within a charity shop and café.

  • Handling Money – Keeping the till float balanced and processing purchases.

  • Nutrition & Menus – Learn how and why certain food is selected for the café and their benefits.

  • Food preparation basics – Not at certificate level, but a basic understanding of what is involved and hygiene practices.

  • Food Hygiene – Certificate level training for basic food hygiene (necessary for most starting kitchen roles).

  • Customer Interaction – Face to face experience, serving, waiting tables and customer service.

  • CV Guidance – Help and support to make sure you are not selling yourself short with your CV.

  • Reference – A professional reference following your voluntary work.

All this is carried out under supervision with encouragement and support. On the final week the group will run the charity shop and café as a team, utilising each other’s strengths whilst supporting each other’s weaknesses. Gaining some work experience, confidence and independence is so important for the next generation of workers. This is a free service suitable for all ages, though most beneficial to young adults.

The Old Needle Works also offers various courses, groups, and support (re-starting incrementally following Covid) for young parents, carers, families and more. DSP are very happy to be partnering with them to showcase their services along with our own. It is well worth a visit to see what they have available and how the young volunteers are getting on (don’t forget to give them some encouragement).

If you would like to donate to the Old Needle Works charity or have some clothes, toys, books, CD’s, records or other good quality, second hand products they can sell in their shop contact:


The Old Needle Works

Britten St,


B97 6HD


Call: 01527 69100

Financial Support

If you are struggling to find work or have a disability and need financial support contact DSP for assistance. We can help ensure you are receiving your benefits entitlements with practical hands on assistance. As a registered charity we also support our community a number of other ways which you can find throughout our website.


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