You could make someone’s Christmas very special this year with a donation of your unwanted furniture or household items to one of our membership organisations. With Christmas now firmly in sight now is the perfect opportunity to de-clutter your house and donate your furniture and household items instead of dumping them into landfill. Our festive message is that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure and that everyone has something they can reuse, repair or recycle. “By donating your furniture and household items through the CRNS charity website you will be supporting local community initiatives,” says Mary McLuskey, CEO of CRNS. “We have members throughout Scotland and together we are passionate about creating a future where there is no waste, only resources. But we can’t do it without the help of public. “Please don’t put your valuable furniture or household items outside before we’ve had the chance to let you know if they can be reused. With our Scottish weather they will be ruined in a very short time. Instead fill out a form online and we can match you with a membership organisation in your area. “It is also worth highlighting that although these items are donated, our membership has to store and/or repair them. As such they must sell them to ensure that their social enterprise remains viable in their community.” CRNS is Scotland’s national reuse, repair and recycle movement, supporting a range of environmental initiatives, tackling social issues, and running vital educational programmes. As Scotland’s national reuse, repair, recycling charity, the organisation wants a world where there is no waste – only resources.
Finding new homes for pre-owned bikes, running community gardening schemes and recycling food waste are among the many activities of Dumbarton Road Corridor Environment Trust (DRCET). This community project is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary – as is Community Resources Network Scotland -which represents hundreds of environmental organisations across the country. The organisation is dedicated to local community projects and community activism – which takes many different forms. Project manager Neil Lovelock says: “We are a small environmental charity based in the west of Glasgow. We were set up in 2004 – so we are also celebrating our tenth year.” “We have quite a range of activities and services. We have a bike recycling project, we look after community spaces, such as gardens. We have a food waste recycling project and a bike powered generator. “We also encourage people to use more local shops and support local organisations.” The Dumbarton Road Corridor Environment Trust also runs advocacy services and provides information and practical advice about recycling to local groups. One of its most successful projects is a compost creation scheme which has run for the last four years at Glasgow Clyde College, Anniesland Campus. Food waste is collected from the college, processed using an in-vessel composter and then eight weeks later is transformed into compost which is used by horticultural students at the college. Mr Lovelock said all the activities of the organisation were based on environmental principles and aimed at encouraging people to reduce the amount of waste. As part of Choose to Reuse week Dumbarton Road Corridor Environment Trust’s bike recycling project De’ils On Wheels will be holding some pop-up shops in Whiteinch and Scotstoun – which offer recycled bikes for sale
We’ve an exciting new development on the way for our members, the CRNS Training Academy! It will deliver workshops and formal certificated courses. The Academy will expedite the information / guidance provisions previously delivered over the years through workshop type sessions and shall focus on providing more formal type training in an array of subject matters, from practical shop floor training such as warehousing, manual handling, PAT testing (to name but a few) right through to managing staff, governance and social media training. CRNS is looking to engage existing member organisations, who currently undertake training activities, to deliver some of this training by signing them up as ‘training providers’. We recognise that many members are already doing fantastic work on the training front, in terms of training their own people in areas pertinent to their own specific lines of work. By working in partnership we are confident that we can reach more members, those of whom perhaps do not have the facilities or capabilities at this current time to offer training, but who would greatly benefit, and welcome, a centralised access point to both source and take advantage of sector specific training at fair rates. There are many benefits to signing up as a training provider: We would be delighted to engage in further discussions with you with regards to your organisation coming on board as a ‘training provider’ and would welcome your thoughts on this (including details of which types of training your organisation would be in a position to offer). Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. If, however, you are not in a position to become involved as a training provider but would be interested in accessing training courses for your staff
Well-known for working with homeless people the latest venture of the Salvation Army Charity is a Furniture Project in Glenrothes, opening during #choosetoreuse Week. Although most well-known for working with homeless people, Christian charity The Salvation Army raises money for many other sorts of community projects around the whole world including right across Scotland. Its latest venture is a Furniture Project in Glenrothes, which will open during Choose to Reuse Week. The new furniture warehouse on Bankhead Avenue will collect and sell donated items of furniture and raise money for its local Community and Mission outreach work, which includes a range of Youth and Children’s activities. Divisional Operations Manager Daniel Rous said: “In Glenrothes we run a playgroup, childrens activities clubs, toddlers group and employ a youth and community worker. We get about 120 – 130 children and young people through our doors every week. “All the money raised in a local area goes to support local projects.” In the East of Scotland alone the Salvation Army is expected to raise around £1m this financial year from 13 projects, including five furniture projects and eight charity shops. This money enables people to be employed; volunteers and trainees to be supported; people to be helped practically; and additional local activities to be started or sustained as a direct result of surplus income generated. To encourage people to visit the local store and to celebrate Choose to Reuse week the charity is holding a one off bring and buy sale. Mr Rous said: “We are doing this to show people what we do. In the furniture depot people donate items to us and they buy items from us. So it’s like a constant Bring and Buy Sale on
Funding Scotland lists funders with a track record of supporting projects in Scotland. It includes grants, loans, prizes and other support. It is a valuable resource for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations of all shapes and sizes. It does not include funding opportunities for individuals or businesses. Find funding for your charity, community group or social enterprise using the free online search engine. From small grants to funding for big capital projects, it can help you track down the funding you need to make a difference in your community. Over 800 records of funds which help Scottish projects. Go to the Funding Scotland website
Innovative Local Authority Re‐use Partnerships Furniture re‐use organisations working in partnership with a Local Authority can provide many benefits to both organisations. This case study on Midlothian Advice and Resource Centre (MARC) working together with Midlothian Council is a clear example of how it can be done. If your organisation is interested in: o Saving money o Making your budget go further o Increasing tenancy sustainment o Helping tenants settle into their homes then working in partnership could be the way forward. Download the full case study here.
There’s always a shelf of books for sale at Edinburgh Furniture Initiative. To celebrate #choosetoreuse week the charity is setting up a book borrow. Chief Executive of the Foursquare charity, which runs EFI says getting people to borrow or swap things is a great way to conserve resources. Heather Arni says: “We will ask our staff to bring in their own books and we might add some DVDs and CDs into the mix. “We will ask people to put a donation of 50p into the box if they wish. But it is more about encouraging people to bring them back once they have read them.” It is an idea that people can adopt and run in their own workplaces. As well as reducing landfill book swaps are also a good way to share resources and raise money for charity. “A lot of people throw away their old books, CDs and DVDs and it is a shame. “I buy a lot of books myself – but I always try and pass them on to someone else.” “There are a lot of people who still read books. Not everyone uses Kindles. New books are expensive. And unfortunately libraries have started to disappear. “Our customers come from all walks of life. And the range of books we get is incredible. We have one customer who comes every day to look through the books.” Books are only one section of the goods on sale at Edinburgh Furniture Initiative, which resells donated items of furniture to raise money for homeless and vulnerable people in Edinburgh. There are two large EFI depots at Canonmills and at Sighthill. Members of the public are welcome to come along and browse but can also view
Remade in Edinburgh teaches repair skills. The organisation helps prevent waste by teaching people ‘make do and mend’ so that things last longer. The training focuses mainly on computer, textile, and furniture repair and reuse. This bustling creative repair hub in the centre of town is all about promoting repair and finding new imaginative uses for things which might otherwise have ended up in the bin. Chief Executive of Community Resource Network Scotland Mary McLuskey said Remade in Edinburgh had been chosen as part of Choose to Reuse week because it shows the trend towards “upcycling”. Amanda Blackadder of Remade in Edinburgh said: “Upcycling is when something that is considered rubbish is turned into something really beautiful and useful. So old blankets can be turned into hot water bottle covers, bits of broken glass can be made into mosaic, LEDs from old computers can be re used as reflectors in cycling gear.” The organisation started in 2011 when founder Sophie Unwin decided she wanted to create a community based environmental project that helped people repair things or remake them rather than throwing them away. Remade in Edinburgh began as a weekly drop in workshop and now has its own Old Town premises at 17 Guthrie Street. The centre holds a weekly drop in repair surgery on Wednesday evenings between 7pm and 9pm – and also runs classes in rug making, textiles and technology. In 2015 they will also be running workshops in furniture repair and restoration. One much in demand staff member is computer expert Sotiris Katsimpas, who offers one to one computer repair sessions, showing people how to get more life out of their computers and how to carry out simple maintenance. In the run up
There are more than seventy Furniture Projects across Scotland that can be excellent places to pick up good quality and good value second-hand goods. But one project in Paisley goes the extra mile to make sure its furniture is in excellent shape by running a training scheme which teaches young people to repair, refurbish and refresh donated items. Lifeskills, which is part of the Renfrewshire based organisation RAMH – recovery across mental health, will be giving members of the public a rare chance to look behind the scenes at the charity – and to pick up a spruced up bargain. Senior Lifeskills worker Jim Neill says: “Up until now we have never been open to the public. We are holding a two day sale as an experiment to see how it goes.” Lifeskills is holding its first ever public furniture sale to celebrate Choose to Reuse Week, set up by the Community Resources Network Scotland to promote projects which recycle goods. Mr Neill said the two day sale was a great opportunity for members of the public to see what goes on behind the scenes at the project, which currently helps around 500 people furnish their homes with good quality donated furniture. Profits from the sale will go to support the running of the project. And if the event is a success it may become a regular event. He said: “Everything is in good condition and we have amassed a lot of older furniture from the fifties, sixties and seventies which is coming back into vogue. “We are going to have a special section for vintage, retro and collectible items which might appeal to people who want something a bit different.” The 10,000 square foot furniture