The environment is at the heart of our organisation we are committed to promoting and facilitating sustainable actions, with a focus on reducing and reusing waste.

This is evident in all that we do, from running the community scrapstore, making repurposed craft kits, working in partnership with sustainable providers, and our extensive workshop program in schools and at events and festivals.

We are passionate about people and strive to provide meaningful, transformative and creative activities, through volunteering opportunities, inspiring workshops and celebratory events. 

We care deeply about equal opportunities and accessibility. In all we do we aim to be inclusive, supporting and empowering people of all ages and abilities, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or socioeconomic background.

In a nutshell we aim to reduce waste, celebrate creativity and make people smile!

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Meet the team!

Events Coordinator

Josh Simpson

Josh has been working in the arts and and entertainment industry for over 20 years, starting out as a face painter for childrens parties, working on community celebrations and with youth charities from age 16. Since completing his degree in Fine Art at John Moores University and graduating with 1st class hons, Josh has continued to develop his creative practice, exploring his passion for collaborative artworks, engagement, theatre design and performance. He has Worked as a resident artist in schools delivering ArtsAward programs, painted numerous murals and created large scale artworks for festivals such as Camp Bestival. After a two year stint travelling and performing on the streets of Europe from an old vintage tricycle Josh returned to the UK to help set up Ragtag. He now manages our outreach work in schools and events and continues to work on bespoke projects and commissions. Josh is also the Production Manager for Kendal Torchlight, an amazing community festival here in Kendal.
General Manager

Emily Dewhurst

Emily has a MA in Three Dimensional Design from Manchester Metropolitan University. She moved to the Lake District in 2012 as the Bendrigg Trusts artist in residence. Here she established a art program for people with disabilities predominantly using clay and felt. Along side her residency Emily worked as a community artist delivering a range of projects in schools and with community groups. As well as facilitating, Emily has a real passion for making. Whether using clay, wood, felt and scrap. This year Emily and her husband have set up Fairy Bell Wood, a beautiful yurt to rent, together they have built all the rustic furniture
Deputy Manager

Clare Jepson

Clare graduated from University of Leeds with a BA Hons in Art & Design. Since then she has photographed, designed and made clothes for a small vintage company, travelled all over the world (collecting too many fabrics for the size of her rucksack), facilitated outdoor activities for school groups in the Peak District and managed a tiny remote hostel in Ennerdale valley in the depths of the western Lakes. She enjoys working for organisations that are focussed on improving community wellbeing, especially ones with the environment and creativity at their heart, which is how she came to be the Deputy Manager of Ragtag Arts. Here she runs workshops and looks after the scrapstore. She has also recently become an intern for Kendal Torchlight Festival, where she will be developing her skills in carnival arts, costume design and community engagement. Mixed in with this, Clare is always making something be it painting, drawing, weaving, photography, you name it she’s probably given it a go!
Paint Man

Chris Eastman

Since 2009 Chirs has run a school and community garden project in Kendal. Before that he worked as a youth worker in Leeds working with young people and volunteers and renovating disused spaces. Chris is also a sculpture graduate and have worked as a TEFL teacher. He is passionate about the environment and making positive change.

Our History

We (being brother & sister, Josh & Emily) set up Kendal’s first Scrapstore in 2016, bringing the Scrapstore movement to Cumbria following several years of success with Ragtag Arts at festivals and in schools.

But the idea of Scrapstore had been with us much longer…

Growing up in Wiltshire we both loved visiting our local Scrapstore as it provided us with amazing resources to satisfy our creative childhoods. As we grew older and both became community artists, Scrapstores across the country served us well again; providing each of us with the affordable materials for our projects.

One Christmas (after a glass or two of red wine!) Emily convinced Josh to relocate to Kendal, in the Lake District, to launch Ragtag Arts. Alongside the community events side of the company was the vision of setting up a Scrapstore, a much needed resource for Kendal and Cumbria.

Thanks to support from Cumbria Community Foundation and Cumbria Waste Management Environmental Trust, we were able to locate a venue in Mealbank and launch Kendal’s first Scrapstore!

We were so excited to be able to provide unique, second hand craft resources whilst also helping the planet by diverting waste from landfill, another cause close to both of our hearts.

However, thanks to the support from the community we soon ran out of space. In 2018 we moved around the corner in the Mealbank Mill Industrial Estate to a much larger unit. This space allows us to increase our craft supplies stored as well as host workshops, artist studios and a community coffee shop.

As the company has grown so has the team. At the start of 2020 we welcomed Chris and Emma to the leadership team, together we have even more plans to grow the project, so watch this space!

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We are a small not for profit organisation and appreciate your support in any way. Whether it is giving us your time, shopping with us or simple telling your friends about what we offer, it all makes a difference.

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