CRNS Member News

7th April 2020

In these extraordinary times our members and the wider sector are doing extraordinary work to meet the challenges that their own communities face. This is happening at the same time as all charities are facing major financial uncertainties themselves. We want to acknowledge just a cross-section of this incredible work which demonstrates that the sector is full of amazing organisations and people coming together in times of crisis.

Recyke-a-Bike and Forth Environment Link have come together with other partners to offer a free bike hire service for key workers in the Forth Valley. Trying to make things a wee bit easier for key workers to commute to work and get to the shops by the safest method of transport for these times – cycling.

In the Borders Just Cycle will be providing a Bike Library for Key Workers affected by transport restrictions in the Borders to get to and from their work.

Although the RAMH reuse store in Paisley is currently closed the organisations has diverted resources and their vehicles to support local emergency deliveries of food and medicines for vulnerable and isolating families and individuals.

Castle Furniture in Fife has switched focus to providing support for the local community through their Elder’s Crisis Contact Centre, offering pharmacy and food deliveries.

CFINE’s food bank services across Aberdeen have been in huge demand as you would imagine. With a strong family of volunteers, staff, partners and supporters they have remained true to their mission, tackling poverty, during the coronavirus outbreak.

Fresh Start in Edinburgh is working hard to put together vital emergency packs of food, cleaning items and toiletries that are going out to those most in need with over 350 packs already sent out.

Free For Fuel is running a voluntary online emergency furniture provision service as they continue to fight poverty and support local families in Ayrshire facing some tough and challenging times.

South Seeds in Glasgow was disappointed to have to close their community growing project, but they still have a small team doing their remote community energy support services for household in the South of the city.

News from other members that are trying to navigate their projects through the current situation and look to the future: 

Glasgow Repair Cafe would love to hear from anyone that has an interest in their exciting plans for their pram reuse project by filling out a quick 2-minute survey for them. This will really help them to frame the project going forward.

Tool Library Cumbernauld are looking for your support by voting for them on-line to run a repair café event in Cumbernauld. It will only take a minute to vote for them.

The SHRUB Coop in Edinburgh has been awarded another 2 years of funding through the Climate Challenge Fund to run their swapshop, end of term collections, freshers free shop as well as a busy programme of workshops and events.

The Reuse Consortium
Working together to help households in crisis

The CRNS-led Consortium of local reuse furniture charities has demonstrated this week the vital importance of working together to help people in need in these difficult times.

The Consortium has been supplying quality reuse furniture to a number of Local Authorities over the last 3 years, including Fife, Renfrewshire, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Councils. The Councils then provide this furniture to their clients in need either through Scottish Welfare Fund grants, or their Homelessness services.

One of the impacts of the coronavirus has been that people living in shared accommodation – hostels or bed and breakfasts – are urgently having to be moved into individual homes. Aberdeenshire Council turned to their local Consortium member Stella’s Voice last week to ask if they could provide furniture and white goods to prepare 10 properties as temporary accommodation. Stella’s Voice based in Peterhead have been able to keep a skeleton staff at work, to continue to provide the reuse furniture service to Aberdeenshire Council, but their stock of reuse goods is dwindling as donations have ceased due to the coronavirus lockdown. However, being on the Consortium mean that Stella’s Voice could reach out to other consortium members, and found that the Fife based charities, Furniture Plus and Castle Furniture, both had stock that they could provide.

So, at the crack of dawn on Wednesday last week, Mark and his warehouse manager set off down to Kirkcaldy to collect two van loads of white goods and furniture to bring back to Peterhead. The next day they were back to another Consortium member, Tayside Re-users in Dundee, to collect another van load. They are now able to provide all this to Aberdeenshire Council to enable 30 people to move out of shared homeless accommodation into properties where they will be much safer from the spread of the virus.

A brilliant story that shows the resilience of the reuse sector, and the dedication of staff prepared to go the extra mile (literally) to help people in need.

Mark Morgan, European Director at Stella’s Voice, said: “It was great to see the heart of what it means to be in the Consortium in action this week – Furniture Plus, Castle Furniture and Tayside Re-users went out of their way and worked with us to help in any way they could – even though each party is facing its own pressures during these challenging times, the commitment to help was inspiring. So thankful to each group.”

Furniture Plus, based in Kirkcaldy, were delighted to swing into action despite the majority of their staff being furloughed and unable to work. Colin Bruce, General Manager commented: “I was up early hours this morning to help out our hardworking colleagues at Stella’s Voice with essential furniture and white goods for over 30 homeless people in Aberdeenshire. A great example of similar charities working hard together in difficult times”.

Castle Furniture’s focus has switched to providing support for the local community through their Elder’s Crisis Contact centre, offering pharmacy and food deliveries. Silv Ingram, CEO, said : “Castle Furniture were delighted to help our fellow Consortium member, this is an example of how the Consortium operates, adaptable, co-operative and go the extra mile to support the wider sector, particularly in such a crisis”

Contact for more detail:

Lesley Campbell, Reuse Consortium Coordinator. Tel: 07912 241088 Email: lesley@crns.org.uk