We are a national body dedicated to alleviating poverty and tackling climate change. Working with a network of charitable organisations, we are diverting millions of household items from landfill, reducing carbon emissions and giving low-income households access to affordable goods.
More than 80,000 items of affordable furniture and electrical appliances are made available to low-income households every year thanks to our trusted network of retailers and manufacturers.
One of the major challenges our reuse charities tell us they face is accessing a decent supply of quality reused household items. To help them overcome this challenge, we began working with major UK retailers to create our Reuse Network take-back scheme.
When major commercial retailers like DHL Envirosolutions, DixonsCarphone, John Lewis and IKEA deliver new household items to their customers, they will often offer to take the old item away. Previously, these used items were being disposed of by the retailer, resulting in high waste costs and items being unnecessarily sent to landfill.
With the Reuse Network take-back scheme, retailers can now donate the items to our member network, meaning that a greater number of low-income households are given access to quality, affordable household items.
The benefits of the Reuse Network take-back scheme:
- Retailers and our members are helping to alleviate material poverty by providing much-needed items to households in need for little or no cost
- Charities are providing employment and training for the most marginalised members of our communities
- Waste is being reduced as items are diverted from landfill to lounges, kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms up and down the UK
- Business shared social responsibility strategies are enhanced
Download our report below to more about the impact of commercial retailers on the UK reuse sector.
One of our main objectives is promoting the reuse sector at the highest levels across the UK. We work in the interest of our member network to see that their views are represented in many aspects of UK and EU regulations and policy, and have direct input into welfare reform, work and employment legislation, the WEEE Directive, the Waste Framework Directive, and the Circular Economy agenda.
At the moment, we are:
- Working on major government policy to ensure that reuse by the charitable sector is built into guidance and regulations
- Lobbying government and others to ensure that legislation, regulation and guidance is supportive of reuse for social benefit.
- Researching areas of interest to our members
- Promoting the social activities of organisations to government bodies
We know that our members are having a large social impact in terms of employment, training, volunteering and alleviating poverty by providing quality, affordable household goods to low-income households. We believe that the work our sector does in alleviating material poverty and enhancing local economies needs greater profile and recognition.
The reuse sector is now more professional and accountable than ever before and must achieve savings in public spending, transform public service provision and result in real, identifiable and fully valued impacts.
The sector will need to engage to survive, grow and to build a bigger civil society. However, we cannot do this alone. Government needs to work effectively to provide social equality and a fair distribution of resources.
Due to the wide remit of our members activities and direct beneficiaries, we work hard to make sure we are engaged across government departments including the Department for Work and Pensions, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, HM Treasury and Revenue and Customs, Ministry of Justice, and the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Our network of members are our driving force. It’s thanks to them that countless low-income households can access quality, fairly priced goods that will enable them to live better lives. It’s thanks to their local expertise and connections that the most isolated members of our communities are given a chance to get back into work. It’s thanks to their efforts that we are actively reducing carbon emission, cutting waste and combating climate change.
Household waste recycling centres
More commonly known as tips, Household Waste Recycling Centres are a valuable source of reusable goods. Tip shops not only reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and the number of items being processed for recycling, but also provide local charities with a rich source of good quality second-hand goods. They also provide volunteering and work experience opportunities, which enhances the broader community.
We live in a society where we are encouraged to update and upgrade household items with increased frequency. The result is, of course, unwanted but perfectly usable items that more often than not end up in landfill. Our network of members are working directly with local councils to give these household goods a second life in a new home.
The reuse sector and the social housing sector share many common objectives – most importantly, the welfare and security of vulnerable and low-income households.
All our members are charities or social enterprises and exist to alleviate poverty. In addition to providing low-income households with access to quality, affordable goods, they offer work experience, training and employment opportunities.
The Social Fund gives households or individuals in need access to a budgeting loan which can be put towards the cost of various items, including clothing, footwear to household goods.
Using the social fund to provide quality reuse furniture to families and individuals in need:
- reduces the cost a local authority would spend on identical items, if purchased as new
- supports and enhances the local economy and community
- expedites the delivery of essential items to families or individuals in need
- supports the growth and long-term sustainability of local social enterprises
- enables local authorities to develop and enhance a more circular approach to the local economy
Sustainable, long-term employment plays an important part in enhancing an individual’s quality of life. Work placements are used by many of our to members to provide paid employment opportunities to disadvantaged groups and those with physical or learning disabilities. These roles enable previously isolated individuals to find focus and make meaningful contributions to their communities.
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For more information or to find out how to work with Reuse Network, contact us on:
0117 954 3578 or email firstname.lastname@example.org