Fern Britton was on hand to open a new social enterprise Aylesbury Project and even ended up buying some products herself.
The reuse centre specialises in increasing social inclusion for adults with learning disabilities, improving the environment and helping the community by becoming a resource for reusable items.
The not-for-profit centre in March Place takes in people’s unwanted recyclable materials and then the disabled adult trainees help to turn these into goods which can be sold off. The reuse centre is also available to community groups to use for a small fee and will collect unwanted materials from businesses for free.
Director Neil Hemming (pictured with Fern opposite) said: “The fundamental objective, and some would say it’s mad, is getting whatever you can get for nothing that somebody doesn’t want and that we can see an alternative use for.
“Then we do some work on it to make something that can become useful. You never know quite what you are going to get. That’s almost part of the fun.
“You can’t really put your finger on it all. Somebody once called it an artist’s Aladdin’s Cave, which is a good way of putting it.”
Mr Hemming persuaded Fern to open the day after writing to her and said she was intrigued by the project, as many are.
He added: “I think she was fascinated. She actually did some shopping so she must have liked it.”
The enterprise cost £80,000 to set up through a mixture of grants, sponsorship and donations.