The organisations involved in the consortium are: ACE, Castle Furniture, Cunninghame Furniture, Falkirk Homeless Project, Furniture Plus, Home-Aid West Lothian, Instant Neighbour, Magpie, New Start Highland, Oskar’s, Recap, ReConnect Glasgow, Recycling First, Second Opportunities, Somebody Cares, Tayside Re-users, Transform Dundee and Upkeep.
A letter to 24 local authorities from David Wood, CEO, CRNS
By David Wood CRNS
Reuse Furniture for Scottish Welfare Fund Clients
With the support of our membership and many local authorities across Scotland, we have been lobbying Scotland Excel to introduce a Reuse Furniture Lot on to the Domestic Furniture Framework from 1st November 2016. Earlier this year and for the sole purpose of delivering reuse furniture to Scottish Welfare Fund clients across Scotland, a consortium was formed comprising 17 of our key furniture reuse members, with CRNS operating as the lead organisation. We will, once accepted on to the Scotland Excel Framework be able to support 24 local authority areas (including your own) in providing 34 key household items through the Reuse Furniture Lot. This will include all the main household essentials such as beds, sofas, tables and chairs, cookers, fridges and washing machines.
The benefits of utilising the Scottish Welfare Fund to provide reuse furniture to families and individuals in need from a local authority and a community perspective are significantly more substantial than would initially be envisaged. The attached Position Paper outlines in greater detail why reuse furniture really should be prioritised over new furniture when a decision has been made to support families and individuals in need through the Scottish Welfare Fund. It seems a natural route for a local authority to now adopt reuse and in short for the following reasons:
• The cost to a local authority of any Scottish Welfare Award will be less than if the same items were purchased as new and in a time of financial constraint the fund can be stretched to support more clients and essentially that means supporting more local families and individuals in need.
• By purchasing reuse furniture from local social enterprises and charities then the local economy can be supported and potentially enhanced rather than allowing money to be spent further afield with no local social impact as a result.
• By purchasing locally then deliveries of reused furniture can be made to families and individuals in need by local organisations efficiently and quicker than currently occurs. This is absolutely crucial when those requiring furniture perhaps have no bed, cooker or washing machine. Attached to the Positon Paper are appendices highlighting that the current system of providing new furniture is inefficient and does not meet the needs of the families that often require immediate support.
• That more affordable short and medium term behaviour will be encouraged for those that need to utilise their own budgets very carefully and by introducing reuse furniture to families, then the potential impact of poverty can in part be alleviated.
• Local social enterprises and charities will be directly supported, enabling those organisations to thrive and to continue to be a much needed and integral part of the local community support network that provides opportunities for volunteering, employment and real support to those that fall outside of the traditional public and private sector employment networks.
• Enabling the local authority to develop and enhance a more circular approach to the local economy by encouraging reuse and potentially reducing items going to landfill.
The provision of a Reuse Furniture Lot on the Scotland Excel Framework is a catalyst for real change that will allow local authorities the opportunity to adopt a more efficient and more inclusive approach that will support more vulnerable people in our local communities.
The CRNS consortium must be the natural choice for any local authority covered by the Reuse Furniture Lot. It is cost effective, efficient and is a local led solution that supports families and individuals experiencing financial hardship in our communities.
I would urge you to work with our consortium and I would be delighted to meet with you and/or your colleagues in the weeks ahead to discuss any aspect of this really quite transformational approach that we have instigated, developed and in time will deliver.
The 24 local authorities serviced by our consortium are listed within the Position Paper as are the names of the 17 CRNS members that have formed our consortium and they will work closely together to provide a cohesive network that will enable local solutions to be delivered.
We are at a very important period in the development of our reuse furniture offer and to ensure that key individuals are made aware of this highly significant development I have copied this letter to directors and/or heads of department within your local authority area and indeed to all councillors as well.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Chief Executive Officer