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FRN News

Notification of FRN Annual General Meeting – 31st January 2018

Colmore Gate Building, 6 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2QX

In line with the memorandum and articles of association of the FRN, the Annual General Meeting of the FRN will take place Colmore Gate Building, 6 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2QX, from 10.00am on 31st January 2018.

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Buy Nothing New Day - 24 November 2017

BNND - Black Friday

The Furniture Re-use Network is launching a new campaign, Buy Nothing New Day to dispel the myth that second-hand means second-best and encourage people to go to their local charity shop on Friday 24 November.

You'll be familiar with Black Friday, one of the many American marketing ploys to have made its way to this side of the Atlantic, where shops "slash" their prices and people camp outside the shop, scrambling on top of each other as soon as the doors open to get the best bargain. In protest to this, Buy Nothing Day - originally started in 1992 by a Canadian artist named Ted Dave - was moved to the same day as Black Friday to raise awareness of consumerism (see Wikipedia reference).

Well, we've decided to put our own little spin on this, and make it Buy Nothing New Day.

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Charities see stagnating donations despite growing demand for second-hand furniture

For immediate release -Thursday 14 September 

Social Impact Report 2017 - Header 1

 Charities see stagnating donations despite growing demand for second-hand furniture

The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) Social Impact Report 2017 published today (Thursday 14 September 2017) shows a stagnation in donations of furniture and electrical equipment to reuse charities in the UK despite a growing demand for second-hand goods.

Reuse charities can be a lifeline for people in crisis by providing much needed essential furniture and electrical goods. The FRN report, shows that in 2017, just 3.45 million items were reused in the UK by the voluntary reuse sector compared to 3.48 million items in 2016.

This decline has then an impact on the number of households helped every year thanks to reused items which drops from 1.51 million in 2016 to 1.50 million in 2017 despite an increase in demand by people in need across the country.

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Interview with Resource Media

Leonie Butler, Resource Editor, spoke to Furniture Re-use Network CEO Craig Anderson about getting social aspects of sustainability recognised and working out what motivates people to do the right thing and reuse.


Go to Resource Media to read the full article.

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Super Early Bird Tickets FRN Conference 2018 - Here for a good time, not a long time!


FRN Annual Conference 2018 – Super Early Bird Tickets now on sale
The Super Early Bird tickets are now on sale for the FRN Annual Conference 2018! It will once again take place in the beautiful Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth on 2-3 May 2018.

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The Furniture Re-use Network and DixonsCarphone welcome public interest in WEEE take-back schemes highlighted in WRAP report

Response statement

The Furniture Re-use Network and DixonsCarphone welcome public interest in WEEE take-back schemes highlighted in WRAP report.

Following the WRAP report entitled Switched on to Value: Powering Business Change, published on 18 July, the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) and DixonsCarphone have issued a joint statement responding to WRAP's report finding that '83% of households are interested in retailer take-back schemes' and highlighting the success of their current take-back scheme for WEEE goods including fridges, cookers and washing machines in place across the UK.

The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) have been working in partnership with DixonsCarphone since 2013 and has established a successful WEEE take-back framework that includes pick-up and drop-off services between reuse charities and DixonsCarphone stores. The innovative scheme serves a common goal of both retailer and reuse charity to support local communities and an increasing demand for affordable, quality electrical appliances while helping reduce waste and harm to the environment.

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FRN CEO, Craig Anderson shares his thoughts following this year's annual conference

FRNConfMay2017SocialMedia-13317The coming together of delegates and speakers served as a shining example of how keen all those involved in the sector are to debate ideas, voice concerns, share best practice and collaborate on finding creative solutions to problems.

Craig Anderson, CEO FRN says: 

"During the course of the two-day conference, a plethora of subjects was discussed, including what Brexit could mean for the sector, the socio-economic impacts of reuse and why reuse matters to the private and commercial sectors. With all the political and economic shenanigans taking place in the UK and across the globe, it was a welcome relief to be amongst others that can and do make a real difference.

The whole conference was inspiring and demonstrated the impact the reuse sector makes around the UK. Thank you to all our speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and all who attended. All presenters and delegates make a difference to our society, and it’s humbling to run an event for people whose work improves the society and the environment in which we live.

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The Furniture Re-use Network awards its shining stars – across the re-use sector

Craig Anderson, CEO of FRN presented this year's awards for Re-use Organisation of the Year, Innovative Project of the Year and Volunteer of the Year Award at the 2017 FRN Conference Gala Dinner on Wednesday 10 May.

Finalists from all three categories demonstrated outstanding achievement in helping change people's lives for the better and highlighting the environmental benefits of re-use in their communities.

The strength of entries this year was impressive – proving that ingenuity, creativity, dedication and passion is alive and thriving across the UK re-use sector.

The Volunteer of the Year and Innovative Project of the Year winners were chosen by a panel comprised of FRN board members and staff. In addition, for the first time in our awards history, FRN asked the general public to choose their Re-use Organisation of the Year winner.

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Vote for Re-use Organisation of the Year 2017

Awards FRN

For the first time in the history of the FRN awards, we are putting the decision of who wins of the Re-use Organisation of the Year in your capable hands, dear member of the public!

Why? Because, we believe that the great work our members do must be showcased and recognised nation-wide. The winner will be announced at the Furniture Re-use Network’s Annual Conference Gala Dinner on Wednesday 10th May.

Voting closes on Friday 5th May.

Without further ado, we are delighted to announced our 10 shortlisted organisations. Please click on the logos below to read what each nominee has been doing this year, and why they believe they deserves to be Re-use Organisation of the Year


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Exciting Conference news - First speakers announced for the 2017 Annual Conference

FRN Annual Conference 2017

Why Adapting Through Change?

The title of this year's conference 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.

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FRN urges disposal charge exemption

Dumped Sofa

The Furniture Reuse Network (FRN) has called for charities to be exempt from local councils disposal charges on items they have taken from the household waste stream. 

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FRN welcomes the EU Waste Frame Directive

european-parliament-1203083 1920-720x405

Here at the Furniture Re-use Network, we welcome the European Parliament’s environment committee backing several changes to the EU Waste Framework Directive. It is the result of a couple of years’ worth of lobbying and it certainly is a much appreciated vote of support for the reuse and prevention of waste.

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The FRN Re-use Sector Impacts 2015/16

Very few of my words are needed - except to congratulate those Furniture Re-use Network Members for their achievements as a sector. Your work as Furniture Re-use charities, Social Enterprises and Comminity Interest Companies has had this impact on the UK and our local communities in the past year. We are so proud to be able to represent you and to show off the effects of your incredible work.

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FRN Product Weight Protocol 2016 Explained

Lauren Small PWP slide for website 2 1

FRN Product Weight Protocol administrator, Lauren, explains how to apply for your PWP as an FRN Member and Non-Member. 

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FRN London Meeting


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What would we do without our wonderful volunteers?

CLiC Staff Picture-SMALL

(Pic: Thanks to Gary Cliffe at Changing Lives in Cheshire)

We are all indebted to our volunteers. Such wonderful people willing to really get stuck in. And indeed they do.

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Age UK in Norfolk Open a New Store!


We at the FRN would like to congraluate the team at Age UK Norfolk for the opening of their new store!  


The new shop has been opened for a little over two weeks now so we asked Paul Ward, Retail Development Manager, to say a few words about what they did and how it went... 

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Martin Brassington

Martin Brassington-CROPPED

(Pic: FRN visits Essential Needs. Lesley Wilcox, Martin Brassington & Helen Middleton) 

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Martin Brassington. Martin had been the manager of Essential Needs in Harrogate for over 20 years, but sadly was struck down by cancer and had been unable to work at all this year. He was committed to Essential Needs and was well respected by everyone he came into contact with and worked tirelessly to help those who sought help from the charity. Over the years that amounts to thousands of individuals and families who were on hard times, but were treated with fairness dignity and respect.

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Competition Time for FRN Members

IMG 20160527 125249181-SMALL Soframe-SMALL

(Pic 1: 2016 FRN Member Certificates; Pic 2: Last year's winner - WasteSavers!)

It. Is. Competition. Time! 

For the second year we are running a mighty fine competition and we want you to enter! 

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We're Recruiting

Website Slide 7.6.16


As a national charity working on behalf of the furniture re-use sector, we have an exciting opportunity for an experienced Finance Officer to join our small team based in Bristol. Ideally part qualified (ACA/FCA, ACCA/FCCA, CIMA or CIPFA) and with some real world experience, you will work closely with all members of the team keeping an official track of organisational spending and incoming payments from the membership network.

As Finance Officer, key responsibilities will include:

  • Balancing accounts
  • Processing sales invoices, receipts and payments in a timely manner
  • Reconciling bank statements and managing unreconciled items
  • Preparing cash flow statements
  • Credit control across the charity & trading company
  • Issuing cheques and BACS for all accounts
  • Ensuring the accounting system is maintained and accurate
  • Running Sage Accounting System and producing relevant reports.

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Competition Time!


The FRN Annual Member Certificate Competition… How to enterWaste Saver winnin entry last year

This year we want you to take a photograph of your whole team. Your photo must feature your FRN member’s certificate. Let your photograph represent the work that you do, or treat it as an opportunity to celebrate your team of fantastic individuals. Your photo can be serious or silly, it can be insightful or quirky, realistic or metaphorical. Let your imagination run wild and your camera do the clicking. Don’t worry if the photo isn’t perfect, it’s the content that matters.

Send your photographs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday 29th July.

The judges will be the FRN Team. 

The Prize:

Free entry for one delegate to the 2017 FRN Conference. Worth £235 +VAT! 

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FRN Member News - FRP Gloucestershire opens their third shop.

New FRP show

Severn Vale Housing is supporting the opening of a new Tewkesbury branch of Furniture Recycling Project (FRP). FRP will be opening its doors to the public at 9am on the 1st June 2016. 

The housing society has supported FRP by providing £8,000 in funding, which it will see returned with the saving made with furniture and electrical items that are re-usable being collected and refurbished and not going to landfill.

This will be FRP’s third shop. They already have ones in Cheltenham and Gloucester. The shop will operate from a unit on Delta Drive in Newtown, on the edge of Tewkesbury.

FRP will utilise reusable furniture and electrical goods from empty Severn Vale properties. It will then be sold on at low-cost to the community, including Severn Vale customers in social need. 

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FRN Member News - Chapter 1, 2nd Chance Furniture

Chapter 1 awards May 2016On Thursday 19th May 2016, Chapter 1's 2nd Chance Furniture team were declared the winners of the 2016 Best Community Recycling Initiative at the Let’s Recycle awards. The event was held at the Landmark hotel in London and pit 2nd Chance Furniture against leaders in the waste reduction field from all over the UK.

The award sponsored by Viridor was presented by the host, ITV presenter Charlotte Hawkins with Lord Deben giving the keynote address. This year’s expert judging panel included: Sally Talbot vice chair, LARAC; Linda Crichton, WRAP; Simon Ellin, Recycling Association chief executive; Steve Eminton, editor of; Samantha Sen, British Council of Shopping Centres; Toni Waters, Environmental Services Association; Nigel Harvey, chief executive, Recolight; and, Helen Middleton, Furniture Reuse Network.

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FRN shortlisted for MRW National Recycling Awards 2016

MRW Nat Recyc AwardThe Furniture Reuse Network has been shortlisted for the MRW National Recycling Awards 2016. We are now a finalist in the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Innovation Category.

When the FRN saw this category, we instantly knew we could really be in for a chance if we presented the FRN WEEE TakeBack Scheme with DixonsCarphone DHL. The scheme, which sees FRN members collecting WEEE takeback from DixonsCarphone platforms, ensures that 10% of all DixonsCarphone WEEE takeback is reused, therefore reducing waste whilst providing low cost quality reusable items to those vulnerable families and individuals who can't afford new items at the same time. It is very exciting to have been shortlisted and to have been given the opportunity to present the FRN WEEE Takeback scheme to a panel of judges. 

We would also like to congratulate FRN members who have also been shortlisted for various other categories. We wish you all the very best of luck. You definitely deserve it.  

Tendring Reuse and Employment Enterprise (TREE) and Braintree District Council for Best Private-Public Sector Partnership

Total Reuse for Waste Prevention Award - Public and Third Party

Winner for all categories will be announced at the Awards Dinner on the evening of Wednesday 6th July 2016. 

Local Community Benefits from Donation of Brand New Mattresses by Major Retailer

Press Release for immediate release - Tuesday 10 May 2016

IMG 0064Rhondda Cynon Taf community benefited from over 1,000 brand new mattresses generously donated by IKEA to toogoodtowaste, the leading re-use and recycling charity and Social Enterprise in the area last month.

Mrs Pride from Pontygwaith a customer at toogoodtowaste says: “When I heard that toogoodtowaste had new mattresses donated from a well-known retailer I was delighted. I have three children who were all needing a new mattress, but with limited monies I didn’t know how I was going to do this. Thanks to toogoodtowaste and their donator I was able to take advantage of this offer, which was truly, toogoodtomiss.”

The substantial donation from IKEA UK & Ireland of 1,188 brand new mattresses & mattress toppers of all sizes went to toogoodtowaste, a charity that is dedicated to helping those in need, community regeneration and reducing waste to landfill. This was part of a larger donation of over 8000 mattresses from IKEA, given to Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) members - UK based reuse charities and social enterprises.

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Re-use for a Better Future - FRN Annual Conference 2016 Press Release

Panoramic FRN Conf 2015


Re-use for a Better Future

Furniture Re-use Network Annual Conference 2016.


The only UK conference dedicated to re-use returns on 26 - 27 April bringing key industry influencers from the CIWM, University of Northampton, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, IKEA, John Lewis, the voluntary re-use sector and more.

Re-use already plays an essential role in the circular economy package throughout Europe; major high street retailers see it as a crucial part to their sustainability strategies; National Government are encouraging re-use in discussions about policy making whilst Local Authorities and others are benefiting from significant savings through re-use.

The theme for this year’s Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) Annual Conference is ‘Re-use for a Better Future’ and we will be exploring the huge impact re-use has, how it will influence our future and exactly how re-use can help our communities and our businesses.

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FRN Management Team - HOT

A huge congratulations to all of the FRN management team – Lesley, Helen and Craig. They all made it into the Resource Magazine Hot 100 list! And yes, so they should.

The Resource Magazine has published the Resource Hot 100 list for the past 13 years to (in the words of Resource Magazine) “celebrate the hard work of those in the waste and resources industry”. Craig and Helen have featured in the list in previous years but it is a first for Lesley who was thrilled by her inclusion.

Congratulations folks. You certainly deserve it! 

RREUSE and FRN Response to EU revised Circular Economy Package

EU Circular Eco Package

The European Commission's revised Circular Economy Package, if left unchanged, will not do enough to develop local re-use centres, create jobs and stem the tide of re-usable goods sent to recycling or landfill every year according to RREUSE.

According to recent estimates, one third of all material arriving at recycling centres could still be re-used and at least one quarter of electronic waste still has significant re-use value. An estimated six million tonnes of textile waste is either landfilled or incinerated in the EU every year.

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The FRN Advent Calendar 2015

Welcome to the FRN Advent Calendar 2015

Click on the images below to reveal which of our members is behind each number!

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The FRN at CIWM Awards 2015

CIWM Awards 3

(First picture from left to right: Nick Hewer, Junkbusters representative, Bex Jones (FRN), Junkbusters representatives. (Second picture: Nick Hewer, Joanne Cahill (DHL), Spider Wastechnology representative, Claire Charras (FRN), Spider Wastechnology representative))

Last Thursday the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) were the proud sponsors of The Best Recycling Award at the CIWM Awards. Bex Jones, FRN’s Marketing and Communications Officer, presented the prestigious award to Junkbusters – University of Birmingham for their innovative scheme encouraging students to donate and not throw away unwanted items at the end of their year. 10,000 Junkbuster bags filled with unwanted items were donated!

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Launch of licence for new Furniture Re-use Network Product Weight Protocol

Embargoed: Friday 30th October 2015 00:01

 LAUNCH OF LICENCE FOR NEW Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) PRODUCT WEIGHT PROTOCOL (PWP) (Previously FRN Average Weights List). Details of the new Licence now released.

As of November 1st 2015, the FRN Product Weight Protocol (PWP), formally known as the FRN Average Weights List, will now require the purchase of an annual licence from the FRN. The licence is agreed with and recognised by UK regulators who will be checking PWP licences whilst carrying out their inspections on UK reuse and recycling operations.

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Back On the Road! FRN Regional Roadshows 2015

Join us for our annual FRN Regional Roadshow event in London in the grand NCVO located in Central London. 

Book your spot now!

Spaces are limited and filling up fast. 

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FRN Regional Roadshows 2015

The FRN Regional Roadshows 2015 are open to all Reuse Charities nationwide. We at the FRN want to help you network. We want to introduce you to fellow re-use charities within your regions. We want to get conversations going, find solutions to problems big and small, cover matters that concern you and have a jolly good catch up.

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Press Release: Corporate retailers partner with reuse charities to supply people living in poverty in the UK with quality, reusable items

The report is available to dowload:

Embargoed: Tuesday 15 September 00:01 

A new report released today (Tuesday 15 September) at the 2015 RWM Exhibition by the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) reveals 78,000 quality, reusable items supplied by the FRN take-back schemes went to people living in poverty in the UK during 2014/15. 

The report illustrates impacts from a selection of partnerships with major retailers through the FRN take-back scheme, the impact of more than 20 FRN managed commercial partnerships and the overall impact of the re-use sector in the UK. 

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A whole lot of Allotment

Our members are always looking for more ideas that will help them reach out to more members of our society - providing more support, skills and simple kindness to those who find themselves excluded from society. 

One such FRN member, Emmaus Brighton, have the Greenhouse - which is on topic for this week - National Allotment Week.

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His Royal Highness The prince of Wales to Visit FRN member toogoodtowaste.

On the day of their 20th anniversary toogoodtowaste will be receiving a visit from His Royal highness The Prince of Wales. We at FRN are incredibly proud of toogoodtowaste and want to wish them a very happy birthday! FRN CEO Craig Anderson will also be attending the day. 

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Who is Pioneering Furniture Re-use & Recycling?

The First of its Kind - FRN Joins their international counterparts at Furnirec 2015 – The first International Recycling Congress.

Lesley Wilcox speaks on FRN Take Back Schemes. 


Once again, France lights the way to dramatically cut down on waste. Introduced in 2013, the ‘Eco-Tax’ is added to new furniture enforcing producer responsibility. This tax is used to finance and improve the recycling of used furniture.

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The next five years: a perspective from FRN CEO


"Will the next five years be about more cuts, more waste and charities sticking plasters on the wounds in society?"

 Read the latest blog by Craig Anderson, Chief Executive of the Furniture Re-use Network. 

JOB VACANCY: Marketing & Communications Officer

An excellent opportunity has arisen within our organisation, based in Bristol.  This is a rewarding position that supports the growth of voluntary and community organisations nationally, enabling them to alleviate poverty for low income households and reduce household waste within their communities.  More fundamentally, this role will raise the profile of our policy-changing, commercial and market development activities on behalf of our member charities and will ensure that via effective marketing and communications activity, social profit is placed firmly at the forefront of our future campaigns.

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Effective local delivery of welfare assistance schemes is needed to limit growth in poverty

The Government’s statement today (18th December 2014) is a welcome recognition of the importance of local welfare provision, but the cut from £174million to £129million will make it harder for local authorities and local voluntary organisations to help the most vulnerable in our communities, says the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN).

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Local Welfare Provision Consultation Response from Furniture Re-use Network

We welcome this opportunity to respond to the consultation on funding of local welfare provision in 2015/2016. We seek to alert Ministers to unintended, yet highly damaging consequences, which can be avoided without detriment to overall departmental objectives.

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Iain Duncan Smith visits `Furniture Bank'

Iain Duncan Smith won’t engage with food-banks but he visited a Suffolk-based `furniture bank’ yesterday.

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Clarifying, Defining and Regulating the Reuse of Waste

In its Waste Prevention Programme for England published last December the Government committed to providing clarification on the application of the definition of waste for re-use and repair activities. Defra is now seeking to clarify the application of the definition of waste for reuse and repair activities, by calling on stakeholder to give their opinions in order to examine our sector’s issues.

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FRN Regional Re-use Roadshows 2014

7 Events across the UK - Late November and Early December 2014. 

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We Won't Cope - FRN Response to today's LGA Announcement

“We simply won’t be able to cope” is the response from many members of the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) to today’s news from the Local Government Association that almost three-quarters of local authorities will abandon or scale back welfare schemes designed to provide emergency help for England’s most vulnerable citizens from next April because of government funding cuts.

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Local Welfare Assistance Funding Review - Why Reuse Matters

It’s welcome news for FRN and our charity members that the Government has agreed to review its decision to end the funding of Local Welfare Assistance schemes.

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Circular Economy is the new kid on the Re-use block

…says the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN), which has been re-using, repairing and recycling waste furniture, electrical appliances and other household goods for nearly 30 years.

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We need your support. Please send this letter to your local MP:

#Keep The Safety Net Letter Template

In March 2015, the funding which enables local authorities to help people in crisis and in one-off emergency situations in their communities will end.

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Bulky Waste Contract Will Help Alleviate Poverty

Bolton Community Transport & Furniture Services (BCTFS) has become the latest member of the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) to win a local authority bulky household waste collection contract.

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FRN takes the circular economy to Glastonbury

Revellers at this year’s Glastonbury Music Festival were given the opportunity to confess their waste sins, and to learn the difference between re-using and recycling.

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Crisis? What Crisis?

       Keep the Safety Net ImageThe results of a recent national survey of furniture re-use charities strongly challenge the Government’s decision to scrap the Local Welfare Assistance Fund – a decision that will hit the poorest the hardest. And we’ve written to Eric Pickles MP expressing our grave concerns.

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Please sign petition - SAVE Local Welfare Assistance Fund

The Government is scrapping funding which enables local authorities to help people in crisis and in one-off emergency situations in their communities. 

Save the fund. Help vulnerable people in crisis. Disappoint the loan sharks and pay-day lenders...


…And the Government wants to end funding that will help people in this situation….

We were extremely saddened to see the plight of Keith on Channel 4 News last night (16 April 2014). Like thousands of others, Keith is forced to accept the charity of fabulous organisations such as The Trussell Trust.

Unfortunately, our network of over 300 furniture re-use charities is far too familiar with people living in crisis and in situations such as Keith’s.

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Petition to rethink fund for vulnerable people

Furniture Re-use Network calls on the Coalition Government to overturn Vital Funding Decision

The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) has today (8th April 2014) launched an e-petition that if successful, will maintain a critical, financial safety net for families in crisis.

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LGA Report:` Routes to Re-use’

The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) welcomes the publication of the LGA’s report `Routes to Re-use – Maximising Value from Re-used Materials’ and particularly the recognition that social and economic value can be maximised by re-using items currently destined for landfill and incineration.

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Helping Local Authorities to Prevent Waste & Reduce Poverty


In his keynote address to the FRN’s 25th Anniversary annual conference (March 2014), Eric Pickles MP – Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government stated The reuse sector “is a proper lifeline for many people” and supporting the sector’s work is “common sense”.

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FRN demands action on reuse to alleviate poverty

The audience at last week’s Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) annual conference heard how the sector must now present reuse solutions to local authorities, with social profit at its heart; and demand that Government policies and programmes join up more sensibly.

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The Furniture Re-use Sector – It’s not just about the Waste

“We’re not just about selling second-hand furniture and diverting it from landfill” said the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) at its annual conference last week. But it wants and needs more of it.

This was exemplified by the winners of 3 FRN Re-use Awards at its 25th anniversary gala dinner last Thursday evening, who showed that they and many in the sector have diversified into other markets and operations, and deliver enormous social value to individuals, communities and partners.

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FRN Welcomes Local Government Association’s Announcement on Local Welfare Assistance Fund

Furniture re-use charities are helping people in crisis but can’t do it alone.

This is the message from the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN), the national charity which leads and supports over 300 re-use charities across the UK in response to today’s news from the Local Government association (LGA) about its call to Government to rethink its decision to scrap the £347 million Local Welfare Assistance fund.

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Personal Statement from Craig Anderson of FRN: New Year’s Honours OBE

This is wonderful news and I am extremely grateful for this recognition and being honoured with an OBE. It is a very humbling experience to be honoured in this way. This award also honours and recognises the work of the Furniture Re-use Network; the team, the board and the charity reuse sector across the UK. This is where the hard work is done and the successes accomplished. This is very much a sector that is driven by creating benefit for society.

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Initial Response from FRN on English Waste Prevention Programme

Having made the trip to London to attend a breakfast meeting with the Defra Minister on the day of the launch of the waste prevention programme, my disappointment began when we were only given a two page executive summary and a short explanation of what was in it. There did follow a session of pertinent and probing questions from attendees regarding aspects of the programme, but I’d suggest that most of us left the room feeling it was up to the waste industry, manufacturers, retailers, civil society organisations and other practitioners to sort it all out.

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Reuse to Prevent Waste and Reduce Poverty

Could the Waste Sector help reduce Poverty for millions of UK households?

asks Craig Anderson of the Furniture Re-use Network

 There is a direct link between current waste management approaches handling unwanted household goods – such as furniture and electrical appliances – and poverty levels in the UK.

There are some problems – like resource shortages – which will affect us all, globally; and problems – like poverty - that affect only some people.

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FRN says Waste increases Poverty for millions of UK households

The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) says there is solvable resource poverty in the UK, and calls upon waste management companies and local and national Government to work with the re-use sector.

As guest speaker at the CIWM Annual Presidential Dinner last night (Tuesday, 15th Oct 2013), Craig Anderson, CEO of FRN put out a call to the waste management sector and the Government asking them to support access to millions of household items that are currently going to waste.

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FRN Says there is an alternative to high-interest lifestyle stores – the furniture re-use charity sector

In The Guardian magazine’s article about Brighthouse, it asks if the high-interest lifestyle store is cashing in on consumer poverty (Saturday, 5th October 2013).

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DEFRA’s Proposed Waste Policy could lead to crisis for millions of people

In the Furniture Re-use Network’s (FRN) response to the recent Waste Prevention Consultation, the national charity states that DEFRA is placing a high expectation on others to create a programme of waste prevention activity and absolves Government of any real intent or impact.

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Poor Standards do not meet our reuse requirements

FRN has read and reviewed the Reuse Standards work released yesterday by WRAP with dismay and disappointment, finding it lacking in content and scope of risks, liabilities or application. The Furniture Re-use Network suggests such a poor standard would be devastating for the future of the reuse sector due to its very basic requirements leading to poor performance and expectation.

Craig Anderson of the Furniture Re-use Network said that “This is a poor standard, devoid of content, with little to no evidence of utilising the knowledge, experience and expertise of the reuse sector operators or the logistical and retail sectors. This appears driven purely by waste legislation with a complete lack of reference to operational risks and management requirements that are commonly found in a distribution and retail environment; it should be remembered that reuse is for consumers in the main with waste only being the source of product in some circumstances.”

Mr Anderson, the CEO of FRN went on to say “In our opinion the documents published are little more than a scoping study, at best a description and flow diagram of a simplified reuse method statement. To adopt this as a standard without fully embracing the intricacies and details of a reuse operation would harm the sector and give no confidence or assurance to the consumer, discarder or contractor. It is telling that, as quoted, neither WRAP nor the authors accept any liability whatsoever for any loss or damage caused, arising directly or indirectly, in connection with reliance on its contents.”

FRN is extremely concerned that such a light-touch standard and the proposed branding to accompany it will give reuse consumers an impression of product quality that will prove lacking and potentially dangerous which will in turn be disastrous for a sector with such a long and worthy history.

FRN will make a fuller response to the consultation in the coming months.

FRN Response to launch of Waste Prevention Programme Consultation

Paper Recycling to benefit from Reuse

The first output of the Waste Prevention Programme for England landed on FRN desks yesterday and we are disappointed to say that we expect the programme to deliver more of the same …… paper.

From FRN’s first reading the consultation is devoid of any policy let alone any sight of a programme of activity that might deliver change and encourage more reuse and waste prevention.

 “The content of this consultation gives the reuse sector little hope for strategic or practical interventions by the Government to support and build opportunities for a more holistic approach to resource management and product stewardship. We need objectives and actions based on the sector’s work to date, but there is a complete absence of any such mechanisms and sadly only more emphasis being placed on soft-touch concepts, metrics and data.” remarked FRN Chief Executive Craig Anderson.

“Much of the Government’s work with the reuse sector to date has been to research evidence of what the sector does and what barriers there may be to its growth. But this consultation shows little evidence of that learning and more pointedly shows little evidence of how the Government is going to set in a place a programme of activity to satisfy the requirements the European Commission’s Waste Framework Directive. “

It is very apparent that the Government is putting more emphasis on the fact that it wants to be confident that others will do the job for them with little direction or support. What is telling from the number of pages dedicated to different sectors is that the majority of stakeholders receive 3 to 4 pages each; the actual operators of reuse and waste prevention receive ½ a page only. We will continue to measure in paper.

“Yes, the reuse sector can deliver £1billion of savings for low income customers and the economy through furniture and electrical reuse, we are already a third of the way there, but not when the supportive energies are misguided and the resources directed toward consultants and agents who research the reuse and waste prevention operators, only to regurgitate the information back at the sector. We already know what we do and what we need to do to increase reuse; what we need is a concerted effort by the Government to set targets and requirements on the waste sector to pull the reusable products out of the their waste streams and send them for reuse.”

“The reuse sector has the ambition but needs the Government to recognise the benefits and savings to society through reuse and create mechanisms to reap the results that Defra and other Departments are looking for. Standing on the outside of the circular economy espousing subjective and unqualified recommendations on paper is not welcome and will not only be disappointing but, will be detrimental to the future impacts of reuse and waste prevention activity in England and the rest of the UK.”

The FRN does not want to witness the continual light touch and misguided dalliances into reuse and waste prevention and we will be making a full and robust response to the consultation.




Fill Your House For Free - FRN's View

Kirstie Allsop’s `Fill Your House For Free’, Channel 4, Tuesday, 23rd July 2013


There is a huge amount of furniture thrown away each year – 10 million items on average – but oddly, furniture re-use charities cannot meet the demand placed upon them by people in need and in crisis for essential household goods.

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Ruth Jones celebrates the opening of one of largest lottery funded projects in South Wales

Toogoodtowaste, one of the largest Big Lottery and Welsh Government funded projects in South Wales was declared officially open on Wednesday 3rd of July, with Ruth Jones attending the event and lending her support.  

Ruth Jones star of Stella and Gavin and Stacey was one of the highlights of the day.  With demonstrations and workshops, live music provided by GTFM, opportunities to buy pre-owned items and the chance to speak with past volunteers who have benefited from the training and work-based learning that is provided by toogoodtowaste. 

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John Lewis re-use scheme gives customer sofas a new lease of life



JL Logo

Retailer John Lewis has launched its first not for profit service, the sofa reuse scheme, which sees 'end of first life' sofas collected by the retailer from customers' homes, then reused or recycled in conjunction with members of the Furniture Re-use Network to support disadvantaged communities.

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Frontline Charities believe needs of the poor won’t be met

The Furniture Re-use Network says a recent survey shows two-thirds of its members believe that a new social fund replacement system to help people in crisis will not be in place for the start of April.

The discretionary social fund – which provides grants and zero-interest loans to help vulnerable people with essential outlays (such as beds, cots or cookers) or deal with sudden costs incurred in a crisis, such as family breakdown – will be abolished. From April, some of the responsibility and funding for helping people in need will be transferred to local authorities, which will be entitled, but not obliged, to operate their own schemes.

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National charity makes plea to every council in the UK

The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) has this week, written to every local authority CEO in the UK, calling on them to ensure new welfare support programmes and changes in responsibilities, do not ignore the valuable social inclusion work of local furniture re-use charities that have been supporting low income families for over three decades.

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Streamlined Gift Aid for Re-use Charities

FRN is pleased to report that following negotiations with HMRC on the simplification of Gift Aid for product donations, the HMRC have today announced new rules for administering such claims. FRN has been working with the Charity Retail Association and others during 2012 to gain HMRC and the Treasury approval for these changes.

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Furniture Recycling Project at No. 10

Representatives of Gloucestershire’s Furniture Recycling Project (FRP), recent winners of the Big Society Award given by the Prime Minister, were invited to a meeting of all recent winners from across the UK, followed by an evening reception at No. 10 Downing Street, where they met with the Prime Minister.

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EAST BELFAST MISSION Award Winning Charity

In November 2011 the Social Economy team at East Belfast Mission (EBM) won the Belfast Media Aisling Award for Belfast’s Best Business in the social entrepreneur category. They entered the Ulster Bank Achievers Awards and became provincial winners of the Award for Social Entrepreneurship 2011.

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Think outside the recycling box: Re-use Matters

If there is to be ambition in DEFRA’s Waste Prevention Plan, and a drive to create a UK circular economy to support growth, the UK’s Furniture Re-use Network suggests that DEFRA needs to work alongside other Departments and think outside the recycling box and embrace the social and economic value and benefit that waste prevention and reuse offers to help regenerate the ailing UK economy.

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New Start Highland wins Business Excellence award in Environmental Sustainability

The 2012 SCDI business excellence awards sees New Start Highland presented with The Scottish Environment Protection Agency Award for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability.

New Start Highland is celebrating the recognition for its valuable environmental work which supports creating opportunities for transforming Highland lives.

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Furniture Reuse Organisation Wins Big Society Awards

The Furniture Recycling Project (FRP), an FRN member based in Gloucestershire, is the latest winner of the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award

The FRP works tirelessly to meet two main objectives; to provide safe, clean and affordable furniture and electrical goods to low income households, and to support and develop local trainees, volunteers and staff in their personal development. FRP is also one of the 60 FRN Approved Re-use Centres in the UK.

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Huge re-use potential in bulky waste revealed in new WRAP report

More than half of all bulky waste items taken to household waste and recycling centres (HWRCs) could be re-used, according to a new report published by WRAP today.

The new report also reveals that 40% of bulky items collected at the kerbside, such as sofas and TVs, could be re-used.

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Furniture re-use enterprise scoops top award

A partnership between two charities, a social enterprise and Leeds City Council that turns trash into treasure, has been named the region’s best environmental start-up at the Yorkshire Post’s environment awards 2012.

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FRN and IKEA Partnership Shortlisted for National Recycling Awards

The Furniture Re-use Network and IKEA have been shortlisted for the National Recycling Awards.

The National Recycling Awards 2012, organised by MRW, recognise and celebrate the very best practice within the waste and resource recycling industry. The FRN and IKEA Partnership is shortlisted in the Best Partnership Project for Recycling category. The awards ceremony will be held in London in July.

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Newbury Community Resource Centre to pilot scheme as a pathway to employment for people with mental health problems


The Newbury Community Resource Centre is amongst seventy four charities that will get a share of more than £6.8 million to test and develop innovative approaches to improve health and wellbeing, Care Services Minister Paul Burstow announced yesterday.

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The State of Big Society Reuse

The Furniture Re-use Network is calling on the Government to rethink its Big Society and Re-use strategies and asking them to look at cross-departmental recognition of the wide and staggering benefits that reuse already has on the UK’s society, economy and environment.

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FRN welcomes European Parliament vote to support establishing a WEEE Reuse Target

The FRN is extremely pleased to see today  (4th October 2011) that the MEPs who make up the European Parliament Environment Council have voted to back the WEEE Directive recast amendments that support the establishment of a reuse target of 5% across the WEEE categories. We hope to see this decision get through the next stages negotiations in January to herald the introduction of the long awaited "reuse target".

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High Standards in the Highlands

Two Scottish Re-users are the latest FRN Members to meet International Standards


The Furniture Re-use Network wishes to congratulate both ILM Highland in Alness and New Start Highland in Inverness for satisfying the requirements of the premier International Standard ISO 9001.

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DWP Social Fund and the Reuse Sector

Community Care Grants to support people in desperate need are to be replaced by Local Support under the new Social Fund. Within the Government's plans there is recognition of the value of the FRN membership's work to provide goods, services and support to the most disadvantaged in UK's society, and also indicates major opportunities for Local Authority Partnership with Local Reusers.

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MEPs vote in favour of WEEE Re-use 5% Target

Parliament wants tighter rules for the EU's growing output of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE)

MEPs proposed new targets for collecting, recycling and re-using wasteParliament wants tighter rules for the EU's growing output of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE), while cutting red tape for companies. In a plenary vote on Thursday, MEPs proposed new targets for collecting, recycling and re-using waste. They also recommended tougher measures to prevent the export of e-waste to developing countries, where it can pose a health and environment hazard.

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FRN’s Big Society Plans

Big Society “major opportunity” for reuse sector


The coalition government's ‘Big Society' represents a major opportunity for reuse organisations to deliver more services with both the public and private sector, according to the Furniture Re-use Network.

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South Shropshire Furniture Scheme wins FRN President’s Award 2011


South Shropshire Furniture Scheme (SSFS) and Shropshire Housing Alliance (SHA) have scooped this year’s Presidents Award at the FRN’s (Furniture Reuse Network) Annual Conference. The award, for Innovation and Design of products or services, was presented to Julian Price and Jean Jarvis MBE at the FRN conference in Solihull last weekend, by FRN President Richard Featherstone.

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IKEA reveals early success with FRN reuse initiative

Furniture reuse organisations across the UK could gain hundreds of thousands of pounds a year of extra income under a new initiative which encourage IKEA's online customers to donate their used furniture to a member of the Furniture Reuse Network, the retail giant has claimed. Speaking at the Furniture Reuse Network's (FRN) annual conference in Solihull last week (January 21), IKEA's UK sustainable development manager Charlie Browne also revealed that it had commissioned research to look at how it could help develop infrastructure to bring material back to the reuse sector.

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Standards for bulky waste


In July 2005, FRN issued the following press release about its bulky waste project

Setting the standards for bulky waste

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New average weights for furniture

The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) has updated its average weights list. The list is more comprehensive than ever before, including items that had previously been missed out and breaking items down into different types, such as differentiating between cane conservatory-style sofas and regular household sofas. There are also listings for bathroom, garden, office and other bulky waste items which will inform bulky waste analysis work.

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Guide shows way for Waste

FRN issued the following press release in June 2006

New guide shows way for Bulky Waste

A guide on how to run a sustainable public service for items too big to fit into people’s bins has been published by the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN). You know bulky waste can be re-used and recycled, but how should it be done? Bulky Basics is an essential and practical guide to turning a bulky waste service into a bulky re-use and recycling service, including assessing its true cost. It is the result of a year-long research project which has examined existing bulky waste services around the country, including innovative areas where re-use and recycling is already happening.

LARAC has welcomed the manual

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Energy Minister visits WEEE centre

FRN issued the following press release in August 2006

Malcolm Wicks, the Energy Minister responsible for the UK’s adoption of the WEEE Directive, on Friday visited one of the voluntary and community sector’s specialised WEEE collection and re-use facilities.

 Mr Wicks - who recently declared an interest in improving his understanding of what is required to successfully implement Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment in the UK - was pleased to find Croydon ARC - a major WEEE facility - was successfully running in his own constituency.

Croydon ARC (originally set-up as a partnership between Croydon Council, London Community Recycling Network and the Furniture Re-use Network) is part of the FRN’s co-ordinated development of a nationwide re-use and logistics network.

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REPIC and FRN join forces

The following press release was issued on 16 November 2006

A major new WEEE partnership between manufacturers and the community sector has been announced by REPIC and FRN; a partnership that will result in economic and social benefits for both re-users and producers.

REPIC the not for profit company formed and owned by over 60 of the major producers of electrical and electronic equipment in the UK has agreed an alliance with FRN (Furniture Re-use Network) as a national partner for the reuse and collection of WEEE.

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Furniture deal cuts fly-tipping

A bid to cut down on fly-tipping and help residents save money on furniture was getting under way today.

A new partnership between the National Housing Federation and the Furniture Re-use Network was being launched in Andover , Hampshire, at the first birthday party of Twice As Nice - the award winning furniture recycling scheme set up by Testway Housing.

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Government backs re-use

The following press releases were issued in December 2006

Over 200 delegates from 100 different UK wide organisations witnessed Government Minister for DEFRA, The Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP, enter into a fascinating dialogue with the audience concerning re-use, a vital signal of the UK’s green credentials.

The Furniture Re-Use Network’s (FRN) 2006 Conference in Sutton Coldfield featured key note speeches from prominent individuals including the Government Minister who promised a number of measures to boost the funding for re-use organisations including investigation of financial benefits for councils working with re-use charities, a ministerial letter to local authorities not paying re-use credits and a review of recycling targets to include re-use.

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Guide to re-use launched

The following press release was issued in January 2007


A briefing paper for local authorities on how to set up a re-use credits system has been issued by LARAC, the FRN and WRAP.

Further to the Government-issued Guidance on re-use credits in April 2006, the briefing paper aims to simplify this and provide a practical guide for local authorities and their voluntary sector partners, mainly furniture re-use charities, to ensure that a credits system is properly set up.

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Children denied items

The following press release was issued in April 2007:

Children are denied basic household items -charity calls for Government initiative to tackle material deprivation

Government research into Child poverty in the UK shows that large proportions of the poorest households can not afford basic items such as electrical appliances and decent furniture.  In total 4 million children are deprived of decent furniture and 3 million of working electrical appliances. This builds upon the UNICEF study earlier in the year showing British children to be the most deprived in the western world.

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Re-use Counts

The following press release was issued on 25th May 2007:

 Charity body welcomes waste strategy for England

The Furniture Re-use Network has warmly welcomed the Government’s new Waste Strategy for England.  The top objective states that the Government will “put more emphasis on waste prevention and re-use”.

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Homeless get SPA

The following press release was issued on 26th July 2007:

Starter Packs Association will assist people to establish a home

The Furniture Re-use Network today launched the Starter Packs Association to support the development of starter packs schemes across the country.  In London this work is already being spearheaded by the Christian charity Housing Justice

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Councils dump re-usable furniture

The following press release was issued on 20th September 2007:

Councils dump 10 million re-usable items of furniture every year 

Over 10 million reusable items of furniture are sent to landfill by local authorities every year - almost 30,000 items every day - revealed a study by The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) recently.  

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Dixons, DHL and FRN join forces

FRN issued the following press release on 10th December 2007:

Dixons Stores Group, DHL and the FRN join forces for the benefit of re-users and retailers 

A major new WEEE (waste electronics and electrical equipment) alliance between the UK’s largest electrical retailer, the world’s largest logistics company and the UK’s social economy re-use sector has been launched to increase the amount of discarded electrical items that are reused.  

Dixons Stores Group (DSGi) and DHL have agreed an alliance with FRN (Furniture Re-use Network) for the reuse of WEEE collected by DSGi’s nationwide “takeback-on-delivery” service. Each of DSGi’s 14 regional distribution centres across the UK are now partnered with an Approved Re-use Centre (ARC) through FRN Enterprises Ltd (FRN’s trading subsidiary) and each centre is reusing between 70 and 200 WEEE items per week. The arrangement will result in more than 100,000 electrical items a year being reused.

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E-Bay Charity Shopping

FRN issued the following press release on 16th January 2008:

EBay Shopping Mall for Re-use Charities

 FRN team up with Missionfish to empty the cupboards

The Furniture Re-use Network today launched a page dedicated to selling items on eBay which have been collected by re-use charities.

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Pioneering Schemes


A pioneering project aimed at encouraging communities across the country to redistribute unwanted furniture to low-income families could help slash debt, create sustainable tenancies and save thousands of tonnes of household goods from being dumped in landfills.

The National Housing Federation and The Furniture Re-use Network have today launched a new booklet outlining how social landlords and their tenants can reap enormous benefits by teaming up with a local furniture re-use organisation (FRO).

The scheme hopes to significantly increase the 2.5 million items of recycled furniture and domestic appliances, which are sold to people on low incomes at knockdown prices every year.

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Re-use to count

Re-use to count for the first time 

The FRN has welcomed government changes to waste targets which allows reuse tonnages to count towards council targets.  Before this change reuse, which is higher up the waste hierarchy than recycling, was excluded from council targets.  This gave the majority of councils an excuse not to support re-use charities even though they produce environmental and social benefits. 

Reuse has never had the recognition it deserves in its number 2 position in the Waste Hierarchy. It has often been dismissed as ‘too difficult to measure’, ‘difficult to define’ or ‘insignificant’.  However all that is about to change.

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Top Of The Tree

TREE from Essex led the way at the 2009 national Furniture Reuse Network awards. Held at its annual conference in Cheshire last week the Presidents awards entered their second year in style..
Standing out from 320 voluntary sector organisations in the Furniture Reuse Network was Tendring Reuse and Employment Enterprise (TREE) of Essex in recognition of their services to the reuse sector and impressive partnership arrangements with business and local government.

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Paul Smith Moves On From the Furniture Re-Use Network

Bob Whitehead, Chair of the FRN, has announced that CEO Paul Smith is leaving the organisation on 30 October, to pursue a range of new opportunities in the public, private and voluntary sectors - not least, as a parliamentary candidate, to concentrate on his preparations for the next General Election.

Mr Smith has been CEO of the leading re-use organisation in the community waste sector since September 2005. He has built up its membership substantially and increased both its profile and its influence. In reflecting on his departure, Mr Smith says 'I have thoroughly enjoyed my work with the FRN and have been inspired by the commitment and mission of the membership. I will continue to fly the flag for re-use and the sector into the future'.

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