Tote bags help tackle homelessness and addiction

SCT students print on tote bags.

SCT students made the hand-printed the tote bags as a gift to those supporting the charity. - Credit: SCT

British accessories designer Ally Capellino collaborated with a Shoreditch charity to design limited edition tote bags made by people recovering from addiction.

Eight Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT) students and service users, aged between 31 to 66, attended a screen-printing workshop at Jealous Gallery in Shoreditch on February 15, 2020.

The AC x SCT Recovery totes they made at the workshop will be sent to anyone who signs up to a year’s support via a monthly direct debit contribution of £12, until they reach 150 sign ups.

Steve Coles, SCT CEO, said the Recovery Tote will help tackle homelessness and addiction in east London.

"Each bag helps raise vital funds that help house and support people facing significant challenges, he said.”

Since launching the campaign, there have been about 40 people sign up to regular donations who have all received bags.

SCT student screen-printing totes.

Each bag is screen printed by hand with a specially commissioned logo by a student of the trust’s skills led workshops. - Credit: SCT


Each bag is screen printed by hand with a specially commissioned logo by a student of the trust’s skills led workshops.

SCT is Shoreditch charity helping people with drug or alcohol addictions achieve lasting recovery.

It runs a residential recovery service, as well as personal development and training services for people in recovery, alongside a number of social enterprises.

Ally Capellino lives close by to SCT’s Recovery Hub and has been a “phenomenal neighbour”, said CEO Steve.

Alison Lloyd, Creative Director at Ally Capellino, said: “SCT’s holistic approach to recovery is awe-inspiring and provides a beacon of hope for those experiencing the darkest times.”

Alison Lloyd, Creative Director at Ally Capellino with her Recovery Tote. 

Alison Lloyd, Creative Director at Ally Capellino with her Recovery Tote. - Credit: SCT


Training and development manager at SCT, Jess Selkirk added: “It was such a good opportunity to do something different and learn something new.”

She said the pandemic has had a huge impact on rough sleepers and those struggling with addiction.

“One of the most difficult things has been services closing, such as emergency night shelters.

“There has been a rise in unemployment and also in people drinking across Britain during the pandemic. Places have tried to support people through telephone conversations but it’s just not the same. People are really missing that connection.”

A blue AC x SCT Recovery Tote.

The AC x SCT Recovery Totes come in two colours, cobalt blue and taupe. - Credit: SCT


At the start of the pandemic, there was a big drive to get the homeless into hotels.

“With the second and third lockdown there wasn’t that same support through the coldest and harshest months,” Jess said.

To get an AC x SCT Recovery tote, sign up to a year’s support of SCT via a monthly direct debit contribution of £12 at www.sct.org.uk.

SCT student screen-printing.

Eight Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT) students attended a screen-printing workshop at Jealous Gallery in Shoreditch on February 15, 2020. - Credit: SCT


Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter