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.
Volunteers and young trainees from the surrounding area help with reconditioning work before making furniture and goods available at affordable prices. Many of the trainees come from Gloucestershire’s most deprived areas and can gain valuable experience and qualifications in construction, business and health and safety through the project.
The charity prides itself on thinking like a business, while making the lives of the community better through its work. Over the past 18 years the charity has grown from relying on three staff and a handful of volunteers, to having the support of 27 employees and over 30 volunteers (alongside 60 local young people every year). This vision has meant the reach of the FRP has grown to benefit many more communities in and around Gloucestershire.
So far FRP has:
- Delivered 12,000 items this year
- Offered training and experience for 60 young people each year
- Recycled 300 tonnes of furniture and electrical goods annually
- It is estimated that FRP saves the council 3000 ‘bulky items’ collections per year
- FRP operate from six sites; two shops in Gloucester and Cheltenham, a training centre, two distribution warehouses and an electrical testing centre.
The Prime Minister said:
“I want to congratulate the Furniture Recycling Project on their Big Society Award.
“Their commitment to helping the community’s low income families is inspiring; whether that involves providing essential furniture at reasonable prices, or supporting trainees gaining work experience and skills.
“It is fantastic to see a charity like this go from strength to strength. I wish them all the best for the future in building Gloucestershire’s recycling enterprise.”
Ian Ellis, Chief Executive of the Furniture Recycling Project said:
“We are extremely honoured to receive this award from the Prime Minister.
This award is a very much a testament to the hard work and dedication of those involved within FRP over many years, which has enabled us to offer some support to Gloucestershire’s community.
We are only a small part of what is a significant amount of work that goes on within our communities throughout the UK making an important difference to the lives of many.
I hope that this award will have the added benefit for others currently supporting their communities to be recognised and to inspire others in making a difference”.