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.
The much coveted award was recognition of a five-way partnership with the two social enterprises, Veolia Shropshire, Ludlow College and Thinkwater. Reviive CIC was set up last October with household items being taken from the nearby Recycling Centre on the Battlefields Business Park in Shrewsbury, in cooperation with Veolia, who have also sponsored a delivery-vehicle. Reviive, open seven days a week, sells a range of low cost, eco chic, reuse furniture and household items. SSFS have been working with Ludlow College, through Thinkwater to up-cycle chairs through their funky furniture project and design students have produced a range of stylishly designed chairs which will be sold through the Renaissance Centre in Ludlow and Reviive in Shrewsbury.
FRN President, Richard Featherstone said “Now in our 4thyear of making the award, the theme for 2010 is a clear signal that the furniture reuse sector can move into a new dimension of product design . It brings a wider appeal for our work. The field of nine nominations from the network all had great merit but the theme was the deciding factor. Reviive’s progress with product design impressed the judges the most. There are just a few reuse projects out there being inventive with the unwanted furniture they collect and I wanted this year’s award to encourage others to follow the lead and to link the sector with the design industry. My judging panel of designers will play a big part in this going forward. In the past the award has celebrated the excellent charitable and entrepreneurial spirit of the sector, and while this was still very much in evidence among the shortlisted nominations this year we aimed to show off the new ways that the reuse sector is moving forward.”
Jean Jarvis MBE said today “We are absolutely delighted to receive this recognition. Julian and I have worked very hard to get Reviive off the ground and support for this initiative is growing as more and more people hear about it. The funky furniture idea came when I was on holiday with friends, we saw some up-cycled furniture in a shop in Ibiza and decided SSFS could do this. Phil Sams from Thinkwater set up a meeting with Ludlow College and they loved the idea of involving students in Social Enterprise. The design students were so enthusiastic and had such fabulous ideas that the project just took off. We plan to continue this initiative with this year’s design students, using different furniture, it’s very exciting”