Watford Recycling Arts Project was established over 15 years ago by a team of visionary founder members experienced in establishing community projects and ensuring recycled arts provision across sectors. Originally run out of a garage with board meetings taking place in borrowed front rooms, an Arts Development Officer from Watford Borough Council helped to find a home for WRAP, on the site of the former Council Depot on Wiggenhall Road. WRAP has since developed into a thriving and abundant scrap-store and well loved creative resource.
We came across WRAP many years ago alerted to their presence by fellow creative’s at Spectral Arts. Once discovered never forgotten. A visit to WRAP can be likened to visiting a sweet shop, packed full with delights and food for thought for the creatively inclined. Walls stacked with pots, buckets, jars, bottles and other such vessels, filled with glittering, shimmering, matt, gloss, plastic, multi-coloured, black and white materials just waiting to fall off the shelves into the right hands to be lovingly nurtured into glorious recycled creations.
‘One man’s trash another mans treasures,’ or so they say and the squeals of delight overheard at WRAP as another gem of a find is articulated, are certainly testament to this statement. The smiling faces of visitors as they leave laden down with new materials is a joy to behold as well as delighted workshop participants who gleam with pride as they show off their masterful creations, crafted during one of WRAP’s recycled art workshops delivered in numerous locations for over 15 years.
The Town of Watford has itself, from time to time, been indulged in the occasional embellishment courtesy of WRAP. If you are local to Watford you may perhaps have spotted The Watness Monster, danced with the Dastardly Pond-dwelling Dragon, avoided the giant alternatively powered Tarantula (powered by alternatives that is) or perhaps found The king of the Little People himself, reigning over his shop window domain! More recently you may have been immeresed in a few creepy moments at the library…
WRAP’s provision of eclectic materials sourced from local business and made available for creative re-use have supported the delivery of thousands of creative projects, making art a more affordable option, keeping waste out of land-fill sites and promoting the recycling message to all who encounter this innovative resource.
As an Artist having a dependable source of diverse materials has enabled and inspired my own practise allowing me to design artworks and deliver workshops based on the materials found at WRAP. This resource has also provided opportunity to meet Artists and other inspirational members of the community with whom I have developed much valued working relationships and friendships of course. In 2006 after the birth of my second child an opportunity arose for me to become WRAP’s Funding Manager, not only was I able to take my 6-month-old baby to interview but not an eyebrow was raised when I had to breastfeed half way through! Now that’s a forward thinking organization.
WRAP is not merely a creative resource but a creative support network providing good project advice and a valued community hub. An art out-post which puts people in contact with each other and works across sectors, delivering a good service and providing excellent volunteering opportunities.
WRAP has made the decision to self-fund into the future and is no longer in receipt of Council funding, so far so good. WRAP is a Charity and almost entirely volunteer-led; the scrap store is open 10.5 hours per week 48 weeks a year with additional time needed to collect materials. These hours are covered entirely by a dedicated and talented team of volunteers. It’s not only the visiting customers who are smiling but the skilled volunteers are ready with an easy smile and some good advice. The time of the volunteers is invaluable and without this team of good natured, philanthropic individuals WRAP would not exist.
A BIG THANK YOU to all the Volunteers at WRAP, both past and present, AKA the Wombles!
WRAP opening Times
Mon – 14 – 16
Weds – 10 – 12
Thurs – 14 – 18
Sat – 10-12
The scrap store always needs new members and or supporters. The member base is slowly recovering after the move from Wiggenhall Road. If you are interested in supporting WRAP you can help in a number of ways, make a donation, Volunteer or become a member.
Annual subscription rates are listed below.
Individual, Family, Student, Artists – £15
After School Club, Community Group, CIC, Not for profit business – £35
Nursery, School, College, Business – £100
You will find WRAP at,
Unit 1 Faraday House, Faraday Close, Watford, WD18 8SA
For further info: 01923 231395
A word from Volunteer co-ordinator Roxana, In preparation for a potential move sometime on the future WRAP really needs to shift some stuff, so please top up on materials as often as possible. WRAP is in need of more volunteers especially on Thursday and Saturday. It’s a great place to volunteer always plenty to do and usually some cake! You don’t have to commit to set hours but if you are interested please phone to discuss. 01923 231395