Belfast duo help resolve cost of living crisis by offering Swap Shop for clothes

Charitable duo Connor Kerr and Becky Bellamy are no strangers to creative concepts that combine helping others with sustainability, so it’s no surprise that another of their ideas has blossomed into a fully-fledged fixture in Belfast city centre.

Rebecca and Connor - Another World Belfast
Rebecca and Connor - Another World Belfast

Another World Belfast oversees a variety of fundraising tasks, ranging from record-breaking attempts to pop-up shops throughout the city, all of which help a large number of people from different backgrounds and incomes.

The pair met five years ago and began their journey of providing for the community through different projects, all of which have since gone on to raise funds for individuals from low-poverty households.

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The first of Connor and Becky’s projects was the Love Pack scheme where they collected toiletries and underwear to give to charities across Belfast for them then to be distributed to those in need.

Rebecca, 41, from Belfast said: “We got together back in 2017 to create a short-term fundraiser to help Connor’s mental health and support the Rainbow Project.

"We really enjoyed it and we realised that we worked incredibly well together so we set about doing something more permanent.

“At the time we had started our Love Pack project without realising it, and were really successful in collecting toiletries and care items for people experiencing homelessness. That project has lived on and grown into the huge projects we now run.”

Due to celebrate their fifth birthday later this year, Another World Belfast is probably best known for their campaign “Show Some Love”.

“We are set up to help alleviate the symptoms of poverty with practical projects” said Rebecca.

“We are a community organisation, we create projects that bring people together and help alleviate the symptoms of both economic and social inequality. We’re founder led and run, but with an awesome team and board behind us.”

The pair work in partnership with charities, and hope to turn Another World Belfast into a registered charity of its own to provide for those who struggle to provide for themselves and their families.

One of their most recent ventures, Belfast’s very first Swap Shop, will see clothes donated to the store later sold on, with any profits going towards essential items for those who need them.

Connor and Becky believe the idea tackles both poverty and sustainability, with clothes being passed on or exchanged, and customers given the option of a reduced price on clothes should they bring in their own to be sold.

Connor, 32, also from Belfast said: “Our Swap Shop project is our main fundraiser and community hub, it can be thought of as a kind of social supermarket, where you can pick up any item for £10 or you can bring along your great quality clothing to swap for another garment from their curated collection for just £5.

“We look at condition, quality and demand with everything from high street to designer wear being accepted.’’

The Another World Belfast Swap Shop is based in Winetavern Street at the back of Castle Court beside Smithfield Market.

Any items not in a saleable condition will be passed onto another one of Another World Belfast’s hubs, the FreeStore, where they will be on offer for anyone to take, completely free of charge.

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Additional reporting by Tina Calder

Photos by Bryony Cole