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representationDeveloping and Representing the Social Economy Re-use Sector



Representing and promoting the impact of our sector across the UK

The Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) was created by its members to ensure that the voice of re-use for social benefit is heard at a national Government level. We work nationally so that our members can act locally; and we provide a range of specialist services which are not available from local or regional VCS infrastructure organisations.

The FRN and our members see our involvement in waste reduction as a means to achieving our principal objective: the re-use of unwanted furniture and other items for the alleviation of hardship, distress and poverty. It does however; require our members to have access to and understanding of a wide range of waste-related legislation, information and advice.

The social beneficiaries of our members’ work are people in need and hardship who cannot afford to purchase new furniture and appliances. Our members support homeless households, people being resettled from hostels and hospital, refugees and new migrants, and other people on low income or in need.

Crucially, our sector is also heavily involved in providing work-based volunteering, training and employment opportunities to those excluded from mainstream education and employment (long-term unemployed, ex-offenders; individuals with learning difficulties and/or mental health and disability issues).

Helping to develop the social economy re-use sector in the UK

There are three elements to growth that FRN will look at in terms of our membership

  1. Encouraging expansion of re-use services in size and geographical scope so that the sector is supporting all those in society who need help, plus ensuring we gain access to all reusable goods wherever they may arise.
  2. Encouraging members to diversify their activities to ensure business sustainability and to ensure that a comprehensive service is offered that meets the needs of suppliers and partners.
  3. Expanding the FRN membership base and encouraging new entrants into the social economy re-use sector by profiling the value that FRN member services provide – to the general public, to government, and to public and private sector partners.

By providing the network with the direction and means to sustain and increase their activities, FRN has established itself as the network that delivers change and opportunity and saves its members’ time, resources and money. We do this by:

  • Supporting the operational growth and robustness of the reuse sector through, standards and guidance, market development, diversification, quality standards and commercial partnerships;
  • Publication of ‘Good Practice Guidance’;
  • Producing and promoting a set of national standards for re-use organisations;
  • Identifying sources of finance for our members;
  • Investigating opportunities for sustainable business expansion and diversification for the sector;
  • Developing partnerships with other socially driven sectors which benefit our members and their customers;
  • Developing good practice in the areas of training, volunteering and work related placements.






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