Barometer Good News Story – Robert Rose Carpentry | Manufacturing Growth Programme

The Client

Robert Rose Carpentry & Furniture offer custom made environmentally friendly furniture at an affordable price.

They started making industrial and scaffold board furniture by combining their knowledge in carpentry and scaffolding with a desire to be more environmentally friendly. They now specialise in creating sustainable scaffold board furniture including desks, tables, beds, shelves, garden furniture and much more. In addition, as their customer base increased, they have started creating more bespoke creations and welcome any idea customers may have for their interior.

The project – The Rainbow Trail

During the 2020 pandemic, Robert Rose was proud to co-organize the Rainbow Trail, Southampton’s largest outdoor arts trail. The trail consisted of 100 Rainbows, carved from up-cycled scaffold boards, and printed with designs from the residents of Southampton. Community engagement was key to the project which aimed to help uplift spirits, share stories from the community and celebrate hope after the lockdown. As a result, they received over 200 design submissions from local residents many of which came from schools and children aged under 11 and worked with 9 volunteers.

The trail was a huge success with over 8,400 unique visitors and 5-star ratings on trip advisor. They have received multiple kind messages who submitted the art and took part in the trail

“Thank you so much for creating this fantastic trail. I suffer with anxiety, and it’s meant I have something else to focus on.”

“Can I just say a massive thank you, for what you’ve done on the Rainbow trail. Seeing my sons face light up when he saw his poem today was magical, he’s always lacked in confidence, and I have a feeling this might have just given him a boost”

The trail also helped to raise over £500 raised for Communicare, a charity that enriches the lives of lonely and isolated people in and around the city.

Positive changes – Recruitment and retention

Robert Rose is thankful to have kept a high staff retention rate by offering flexible working arrangements as well as opportunities for development and continued learning. 25% of their workforce are on an apprenticeship programme and one of their operational managers has also taken a part time role within the office as a step towards progression this month.

To aid with recruitment, they are working with Southampton city council to offer work opportunities for younger people who are having difficulties finding employment.

They hope to offer employment or an apprenticeship to one or more of the new starters over the next 12 months.

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