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Working in the Regions

Monday, 12 September 2016 08:33

Working in the Regions

In addition to holding Regional Re-use Meetings during the year, FRN has occasionally been called on to intervene and support members in a distinct region of the UK.

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Until more recently, FRN had stepped in to support reusers in Wales as the Welsh Government looked to spearhead an ambitious waste prevent plan in which the re-use of furniture and electricals played a great part. Wales did previously have a network, but since Cylch closed the members in Wales have had little opportunity to come together or make their views heard by the Government. FRN stepped in to push for a policy that understood what re-use was really about and made sure the policy reflected what was possible and worked in the same direction as the sector. In addition, we became involved in the Landfill Tax debate in Wales and recommended that the landfill tax funding could be reinstated in Wales to support re-use once again. We wait to see if this will happen

There’s been a fair bit of FRN activity in Scotland since November last year, principally supporting Scottish members in their bid to provide a service (essential furniture) in response to the new Scottish Welfare Fund contract (known as the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme in England and Discretionary Assistance Fund in Wales). Although the new contract tender was officially published in June 2016, months of preparatory work has taken place in order to help our members respond appropriately. However, responding directly to the full Scotland-wide contract tender is just one way to approach the opportunity; FRN has also provided alternative options and guidance for members in order for them to work directly with their own specific local authority.

There was also the small matter of getting FRN’s ARC Certification recognised as the most credible quality management standard by the commissioning body who was led to believe that the revolve brand was the only re-use related certification system in the Scotland and the rest of the UK.

There have been a number of trips north of the Border in the last few months as a result. In July, FRN visited Cunninghame Furniture Scheme, Castle Furniture and Furniture Plus to essentially provide business and market development advice, marketing strategy and mentoring support to these members.

More recently, FRN held a meeting in London to help members in the capital re-engage as a city-wide network. With the congestion charge, property prices, challenging commercial contracts, and the demise of the London Re-use Network, it was felt that FRN needed to re-engage and support members there after years of being unable to influence the direction of re-use in London. We are pleased to notice that there is fresh interest in improving the networking and collaboration opportunities and for FRN to help look at ideas and solutions to take on the London challenges.

If there is anything in this article that interests you and you would like to discuss it with the FRN; or you require support and advice on any if the issues addresses above, please do contact either Craig, Lesley or Claire on 0117 954 3578. 

Read 1041 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 September 2016 14:40

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