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The Carpenter’s Shop – helping create a clean city

Homelessness and unemployment are both on the rise in Cape Town, and are things we need to be aware of – in terms of the impact on crime, but also to do our bit to make a positive difference. There are a number of organisations in the City Bowl that work together to combat such issues, but not many are as determined as the Carpenter’s Shop (TCS).

A group of passionate and hardworking individuals are the driving force behind this fantastic initiative who work without recognition to come up with innovative ways to create employment for people. Jane Mills, Marketing Consultant at The Carpenter’s Shop, understands every key component of the NPO and gave me a tour of their grounds situated on Roeland Street.

The NPO, which has been operating from this building since 1981, is situated in the perfect location for the vulnerable around the city and is only a walk away from the nearest soup kitchen.

“We believe that all people should have an opportunity to work and to experience the dignity of supporting their families” Jane says. As we walked around the grounds this statement stuck with me, and I could see that all the team members involved at TCS are trying their very best to provide people with the necessary skills and social care to support themselves.

The grounds comprise of a number of sectors, one of which is The Geoff Burton House, providing affordable housing facilities for those that are on the right path but aren’t able to financially support themselves just yet. At the back of the grounds are one of the only public ablutions situated in Cape Town, where TCS staff hand out soap, toothpaste and tokens to the nearest soup kitchen.

IMG_4457In the middle of the grounds is The Carpenter’s Shop, where we sat in on a carpenter’s class with Colin and Joseph, the carpentry teachers. The classrooms are filled with passionate pupils busy crafting various items with the intention of one day selling them to the public. If you are looking to purchase new furniture or refurbish a family heirloom, give them a call and they will be able to assist you.

The final component of the organisation, and one which could bring in the much needed revenue for The Carpenter’s Shop to sustain their social care, accommodation, and skills development initiative is their auto detail facility. James MacDonald, Social Enterprise and Business Development Manager at TCS explains that in order to do this, a daily throughput of 20 cars per day is needed in order to get to breakeven point for the business. All cars exceeding 20 per day will then contribute towards funding our social purpose.

With a team of trained professionals, TCS car wash provides affordable, efficient and top quality car cleaning facilities to businesses and residents in Cape Town.

So how can you help? If your car is looking a bit shabby and in need of a little TLC, drive into to get a car wash and support their vocational training facilities with less than R100 a wash.




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