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FRN Annual Conference 2017 Menu - Click on the buttons below to find out more. 

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Date & Timings

Tuesday 9th May - Tuesday Twister: An informal and relaxed evening of food, drink and catching up with your fellow delegates before the conference begins the following day.   

Wednesday 10th May - Day 1 of the conference and Gala Dinner. Everyone, including FRN members and non-members, with an interest in re-use, are invited to attend both day 1 of the conference and the Gala Dinner in the evening. 

Thursday 11th May - Day 2 of the conference. This day is open to FRN members only. 

Start: Tuesday Twister - 7pm onwards. Arrive when you can. 

Conference Day 1: Registration - 8.30am - 5pm finish.

Gala Dinner: Drinks reception - 7pm. Sit down for dinner - 7:30pm. 

Conference Day 2: 9am start - 3:30pm finish.

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Chesford Grange Hotel. Kenilworth, Warwick, CV8 2LD. 

The Furniture Re-use Network Annual Conference will this year take place in one of Warwickshire's most state of the art conference venues at Chesford Grange Hotel. Nestled in amongst orchards on their 17 acres of beautiful rolling grounds, this country hotel is the perfect place to combine our conference with an opportunity to unwind allowing you to get the absolute most out of yourself and the conference. We expect you to return to your organisations, not only filled with plenty of new ideas, but also ready and raring to implement them. A health club, spa and elegant restaurant are the icing on this already very decorative cake.  

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Delegate Rates

Delegate Pricing  

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Booking your Conference

To book your delegate passes, please download and fill out the form. Return the form to Lauren either by post or email: FRN, 48 West Street, St. Philips, Bristol, BS2 0BL; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Details of how to pay are on the form. If you would like to discuss payment please contact Rachel on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   

NB: FRN Members please note that attendance at membership rates to the 2017 conference is possible for paid up members only, therefore all membership fees must be paid in full by Friday 1st April 2017. Any organisations who have not renewed their membership by the due date will be asked to pay the full non-member rate and can only attend day 1 of the confernece (Wednesday 10th May). 

NB: Booking a place at the FRN Annual Conference also means you agree to photographs being taken of you during the event. We will use these photographs for promotions of future FRN events only.    

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Please note: You can download the booking form from google drive by clicking on the download button in the right hand corner. Make sure it opens up in excel before you start to fill it out. 

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Bursary Places

Applications for bursary places are now closed.

We are offering 4 bursary places to those smaller FRN members with an annual turnover of £200,000 or less.

The bursaries will cover the following: 

  • 1 delegate pass for Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th May
  • Attendance to Wednesday evening drinks reception and Gala Dinner 
  • All food and refreshments throughout the conference 
  • Accommodation for Wednesday 10th with breakfast the following day

If you are interested in attending the FRN Conference and would like to apply for a bursary place, you will need to fill out the form that you can download below along with the Terms and Conditions for Bursary Places. Please check that you are eligible to apply using this checklist:

  • Your organisation must have an annual turnover of £200,000 or less
  • You are a member of the Furniture Re-use Network
  • Only one person per organisation can apply 

Please send your application form into Lauren at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by Friday 24th February 2017. We will notify you as to whether you are successful or not by Friday 24th March 2017.   

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Kindly Sponsored by John Lewis




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Conference Programme 

The title of this year's conference, Adapting Through Change, is a reference to the turbulent climate furniture re-use organisations are currently operating in. With the threat of Brexit and the disruption that will almost certainly cause, our sector is once again going to have to adapt to both survive and thrive. As the national network we are looking to stay ahead of the curve and are watching the horizon for potential threats and help steer our member's through the choppy waters.
Both days have been put together to provide expert opinion on the sector and where it might be in the future. A mix of industry leading speakers will inform on a range of current topics, from a panel discussion on the future of re-use in the UK, to how to improve local engagement within your community.

In previous years we have welcomed speakers from LARAC, RSA, CIWM, IKEA, Directory of Social Change and more. Our programme for 2017 will be based on the most recent developments within the re-use sector. It promises to be filled with speakers ready to share their work and knowledge with you to ensure that you leave the conference with new ideas and a better understanding of the support available to you.

Amongst the speakers, a selection of FRN members will be invited to share their experiences as successful re-use organisations. These presentations are a particularly popular element of the programme. Focusing on their experiences, the members will discuss how they achieved their goals and triumphed in areas that have proven particularly sticky for many others. Expect honesty, humour and a whole lot of learning… 

Our programme will be updated as speakers and sessions are confirmed, so please do check back from time to time or alternatively, contact Jack Hayes This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to be added to the conference mailing list. You can sign-up directly to our FRN Conference Mailing List. 

Adapting Through Change 

Wednesday 10 May  - Day 1 - Open to all 

08:30 - 09:15  


Opportunity to network and visit exhibitor stands

09:15 - 09:30   Welcome by Chair of the Board
09:30 - 11:00  

Reuse in Perspective

Great stories from the UK Craig Anderson, FRN

Great stories from the EU Michal Len, RREUSE

The Economic Perspective Dominic Hogg, Eunomia

The European Perspective Michal Len, RREUSE

The Waste Industry Perspective Colin Church, CIWM

11:00 - 11:30  


Opportunity to network and visit exhibitor stands

11:30 - 13:00  

Reuse in Policy

Scottish Policy Perspective Louise McGregor, Zero Waste Scotland

European Policy Perspective tbc

UK Perspective tbc

Panel Discussion

13:00 - 14:00  


Opportunity to network and visit exhibitor stands

14:00 - 15:30   ConverStations
15:30 - 16:00  


Opportunity to network and visit exhibitor stands

16:00 - 17:00  

Engaging through Communication

Local Community Engagement Emma Marchant, John Lewis

Instigating Behaviour Change Mark Varney, FareShare

Engaging with your community Shaun England, toogoodotwaste


Thursday 11 May  - Day 2 - Open to FRN members and FRN supporters only 

08:30 - 09:15  


Opportunity to network and visit exhibitor stands

09:15 - 09:30   Welcome to Day 2
09:30 - 11:00  

Why reuse matters in the private sector

Panel Discussion

Claire O'Brien, Dunelm

Ben Thomas, John Lewis

Lynn Maxwell, IKEA

Andy Currie, DHLEnvirosolutions

Alan Wheeler, Textile Recycling Association

11:00 - 11:30  


Opportunity to network and visit exhibitor stands

11:30 - 13:00   ConverStations

13:00 - 14:00  


Opportunity to network and visit exhibitor stands

14:00 - 15:30  

Reuse in Practice

Housing Associations and the Reuse Sector Claire Astbury, National Housing Federation

Furniture Reuse: a charity retail perspective Robin Osterley, Charity Retail Association

The Logistics of Donations Tony Hilton, Charity Fleetcare

The Reuse Conundrum Julian Price, Reviive


15:30 - 15:35   Close of conference
































With experts leading roundtable discussions, the popular Conversation Stations (ConverStations) are returning to this year's Conference. The first ConverStations topics have been confirmed, see below, if there are any areas that you would like to discuss that we currently aren't covering, please send over your ideas to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Pitfalls and benefits of taking on big contracts - Adrian Collins, KCF
  • Well North - Partnership Working - Paula Gamester, Sewing Rooms
  • Effective logistics - Tony Hilton, Charity Fleetcare
  • Children's item: health and safety - Harvey Griffiths, FRN
  • Continued Professional Development for your staff - Liz Wagstaff, Hummingbird People
  • Upcycling and mental health - Silv Ingram, Castle Furniture Project
  • Dealing with bad press - Heather Arni, Edinburgh Furniture Initiative
  • Property game? - 50Square
  • Income generation for charities - Steve Orman, SOFA Project
  • Experience of a new FRO – 1 year on - David Rose & Steve Pearse, Jersey Employment Trust
  • Retail Gift Aid: how shops can best comply with HMRC RGA guidelines - Stephen Maudley, HMRC
  • Data Protection: holding donor data, new guidelines coming into place in 2018 - Sarah Dodd, Kudos
  • Diversifying your pool of volunteers - Ruth Batty, CSS
  • Credit Unions and FROs - Julian Price, Reviive
  • Overcoming the barriers to WEEE Reuse - Joanne Cahill, DHLe
  • More to be announced.  

What to expect...

  • Opportunities to network and mingle with re-use practitioners and experts
  • Learn and develop together through topical conversations held at the FRN Converstations (the Conversation Stations)
  • Hear from the re-use practitioners as they explore their past experiences and discover how they succeeded and what they would do differently next time
  • Develop your understanding of various topics surrounding the waste and re-use sector
  • Widen your horizons through learning what is possible and achievable
  • Meet the exhibitors who can advise you on their services – specific to charities and the re-use sector   



Kindly Sponsored by John Lewis




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Who Benefits From Attending

Anyone who is serious about REUSE, ALLEVIATING POVERTY through reuse and REDUCING waste.

No matter who you are,

  • if you are interested in reuse and the circular economy,
  • want to see the circular economy in motion,
  • keen to learn about how to use reuse to tackle poverty in your local community,
  • are looking to meet the reuse practitioners and connect with experts in the reuse sector,
  • want to explore possible collaborations with re-use organisations

...this is the day for you. 

The FRN Annual Conference is THE conference for the re-use sector professional who wants to develop strategies using re-use initiatives, wants to learn more from the re-use sector experts and those experienced in working on reuse. 

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Tuesday Twister - 9th May 2017

Last year was our first time of inviting you to spend the evening before with us. It was a huge success with almost all delegates popping in. The Tuesday Twister is your chance to relax into the next few days with your fellow conference delegates over a delicious meal and a few drinks. We know that many of you will be travelling from all over the UK on Tuesday evening and our informal evening with dinner and bed and breakfast will be just the thing to get you prepared for your conference.

This year, we have the choice of mingling among the trees and hanging out on the decking by the restaurant or enjoying the privacy of a room dedicated to our evening meal and souree. 

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Gala Dinner Wednesday - 10th May 2017

The FRN Gala Dinner is legendary to all delegates who have attended it in the past and is always the talking point in the weeks and months after. We are delighted to invite all delegates to join us for a drinks reception followed by a delicious 3-course meal. The FRN team transform the conference hall to suit the occasion with backing music, low lit colourful lighting and beautiful table decorations. The wine and conversation flows freely - especially as Lesley, our table planner, makes sure everyone is sat next to someone they would love to meet and chat to. The evening is topped off with an awards ceremony celebrating those who excel in our sector and after dinner entertainment and drinks at the bar after. We ask that you honour the occasion by dressing up in your very best.

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Gala Dinner Kindly Sponsored by DHL Envirosolutions

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 Drinks Reception Kindly Sponsored by DixonsCarphone

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Each year we hold a small number of awards to celebrate the giant achievements that the reuse sector makes. Last year our winners were: 

  • Community Furniture Store (York) - Re-use Organisation of the Year Award. Having triumphed against the dramatic Boxing Day flooding which continued over the winter months into 2016, they were able to help hundreds of people who lost everything and were made homeless by the disaster.   
  • Shaun England, toogoodtowaste - Individual Achiever of the Year Award. Shaun is always really keen to ensure any project that the FRN works with him on is a success and is keen to get stuck in. 
  • Doncaster Refurnish - Upcycled Award. After a really difficult decision, Charis Williams, Salvage Sister and upcyling extraordinare, awarded this to Doncaster Refurnish.  

The much anticipated FRN Awards are back again and this year we’ve changed things up a bit. As well as two new categories, for the first time ever, the Re-use organisation of the Year award will be voted on by the public, which means this is a fantastic opportunity to engage your local community. From the customers who buy from you, to your own staff and volunteers, you can promote the wonderful work you do by getting them to support your nomination. We are also looking to recognise the crucial work that volunteers contribute, with the Volunteer of the Year award and the Innovative project of the Year will reward ingenuity and originality in the sector.

Applications for awards are available to FRN members only. To enter the awards, download an application form here. For more information about the Awards and how to apply, please contact Jack Hayes on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0117 954 3572


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(Left to right: The awards! Ruth Batty & Graham Mitchell Community Furniture Store; Shaun England toogoodtowaste; Andy Simpson, Refurnish & Charis Williams)   

Kindly Sponsored by WRS Insurance





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The Furniture Re-use Network Annual Conference is the only conference dedicated to not-for-profit re-use organisations. Make sure your organisation is at the forefront of the delegates minds, ensure that you are noticed through sponsorship of the FRN Annual Conference 2017. We have a fantastic menu of sponsorship opportunities of all shapes and sizes ranging from the more fun options to the more traditional. We will ensure that our delegates hear from you and all about you. For more information contact Claire Charras on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call 0117 954 3574. 

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Our sponsors

Main Conference Sponsor: John Lewis


Bursary Sponsor: John Lewis


Gala Dinner Sponsor: DHL Envirosolutions

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Awards Sponsor: WRS Insurance 


Drinks Reception: DixonsCarphone


More opportunities are available, please don't hesitate to browse through our sponsorship back to view what else is on offer.

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Exhibiting at the Conference

The delegates of the Furniture Re-use Network are forward thinking folk who ensure that they work with the right companies and organisations to achieve their goal - to support members of their local communities. Their task is a large one and they are very busy people which is why we want to bring the suppliers and services to them. A large number of the delegates attending the conference are not-for-profit organisations as well as local authorities, housing associations and more, all hoping to learn about enhancing their re-use activities for the benenfit of their local communities. They do this to reduce poverty by helping households in need access furniture, white goods  and other household items at affordable prices. In addition, we support re-use charities in providing training and work placement opportunities for people who are socially excluded from education, training and employment. These organisations have charity shops, workshops, offices and they require all the services that support this.  

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What services do they use? 

Like any organisation, our members use:

  • Financial Services
  • Banking Services
  • IT Services (equipment, software, support)
  • HR Services
  • Staff training services (Health & Safety, First Aid)
  • Insurance Services
  • Office and stationary services

But also services which are specialised to the sector such as:

  • Fuel cards
  • Fleet services
  • ePos Systems
  • Voluntary Sector Associations
  • Trade Media or Press Subscriptions
  • Household Goods Suppliers (furniture, electrical appliances)
  • Paint  

Being an Exhibitor

If you would like to find out more about being an exhibitor at the FRN you can download the Exhibitors Pack above. Please do get in touch with Claire Charras if you have any further questions or requirements. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Call: 0117 954 3574. 

Confirmed Exhibitors 2017:

Charity Fleetcare

Charity Fleetcare is the UK's leading supplier of charity Cars.

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Domestic Appliance Distributors
The UK's largest distributor of domestic appliances.

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Kudos Software

Kudos is the industry leading provider of software solutions to Furniture Reuse Organisations. Combining furniture and electrical sales with Retail Gift Aid, van round management and repairs and warranties in a software package thats well known to be easy for volunteers to use. Talk to us at the Conference if you want to rid your organisation of paper trails or grow your sales, gift aid or reuse credit income.

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PK Safety

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Clothing. Stay Safe.Look Good. 

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Seetec is one of the UK's largest and most experienced providers of Government funded employment and skills training programmes. We help individuals find employment or gain qualifications and support employers with recruitment, training and IT solutions. Delivering a wide range of Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre Plus employment programmes, we work closely with employers and partner organisations to empower individuals to move off benefits and into sustainable employment. As a leading provider of Skills Funding Agency and Apprenticeship training programmes, Seetec also delivers a wide range of vocational qualifications and IT training provision to boost the skills of businesses and individuals. With well-established roots in IT consultancy services, Seetec also implements bespoke, cutting edge systems for businesses.

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Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd are proud to be partnering FRN members enabling expedient fulfilment to your customers. We are unique in the domestic appliance sector in that we manufacture, deliver, and install our appliances in customers homes, providing a full end to end solution. No other provider in the market offers this. By combining great value appliances with excellent logistics and customer service, we ensure your funds stretch further.

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FRN Annual Conference 2016 - Reuse For a Better Future

"I found it very inspirational and fun and what really stood out was passion the members have - so much passion for their our charities and others. Well done!" Katie ONeill, IKEA
"I am very surprised and delighted at the co-operation, openness and friendliness of everyone who attended." Joan Martin, Noah Enterprise
"I am leaving inspired and excited about our sector." Paula Gamester, The Sewing Rooms

These are just some of the many compliments we have received and we're really happy to know that so many of you were inspired and left with dozens of new contacts and ideas to put into play in your organisations. 

It was a fantastic few days. The room was buzzing from the moment you walked in. We, the FRN Team, learnt so much from the speakers, yourselves - the FRN Conference delegates. And we are so proud to have such driven, motivated and caring individuals and organisations as our members. 

Awards - And the Winners are...

A huge congratulations to the winners of this years FRN Awards! 

  • Community Furniture Store (York) won the Re-use Organisation of the Year Award
  • Shaun England, toogoodtowaste won the Individual Achiever of the Year Award
  • And Doncaster Refurnish won the Upcycled Award.   

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(Left to right: The awards! Ruth Batty & Graham Mitchell Community Furniture Store; Shaun England toogoodtowaste; Andy Simpson, Refurnish & Charis Williams) 

We had some fantastic entries for the Upcycled Awards. Thank you to EVERYONE who got involved. Charis Williams, Salvage Sister, had a very hard time choosing the final winner. 

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(Left to right: Refurnish Devon; Castle Furniture; All entries; The winning piece from Doncaster Refurnish)


The #FRNConf16 Gallery 

More photos on Facebook. Click here to see them. 

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 Contact Us

If you have any questions what so ever, please don't hesitate to get in touch with Lauren on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0117 954 3578.

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How does the collaborations between public and private sector in reuse make a difference to local communities?

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