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USW supports 18 good causes by donating office furniture

Foodbank tables

THE UNIVERSITY of South Wales (USW) has helped support schools, charities and community groups by donating surplus office furniture – generating more than £300,000 of social value.

Working in partnership with Collecteco, a reuse company operating across the UK, USW was able to help 18 different not for profit organisations to receive furniture, allowing them to continue their work in the community without needing to invest in tables, chairs and other items.

By donating 1884 pieces of furniture and equipment, USW and Collecteco have ensured that 69,795kg of waste has been diverted from landfill, avoiding 88,622kg of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

With 22million pieces of furniture discarded in the UK each year, and only 15% of it being reused, it is vital that companies are able to redistribute their equipment to those who need it.

Steve Sliney, Director of Collecteco, said: “We first started working with the University after seeing a post on LinkedIn from a member of the Estates department, looking to rehome some surplus kit. I got in contact and it was clear that there was a great opportunity in the making; the University had lots of surplus kit becoming available and Collecteco had lots of demand from good causes on its waiting lists, actively searching for donations of kit.

“It was great that the University were open to working with an SME like Collecteco and the partnership has gone from strength to strength, with many good causes helped with great kit and lots of carbon and landfill avoided.”        

The 18 good causes who have benefited from USW’s donation include 11 organisations based in Wales:

  • Multi Organ Transplant Support (MOTS), a Newport-based charity dedicated to supporting patients and their families affected by small bowel and multi organ transplants.
  • Whitchurch High School, Cardiff
  • Insole Court Trust, a registered charity in Cardiff, committed to the preservation and protection of Insole Court and its gardens for public benefit, education, well-being, social welfare and recreation
  • Cwmbran and Pontypool Scouts
  • Pontypridd Foodbank
  • Dreams & Wishes, a Gwent charity which helps seriously ill children and their families to build happy memories by granting lifelong wishes
  • Ty Nant cat sanctuary, Port Talbot
  • Boomerang Cardiff, a charity which helps prevent homelessness, poverty, critical living conditions and social isolation
  • The British Heart Foundation
  • Llanishen High School, Cardiff
  • Changing Gearz, a project based in Torfaen which supports young people aged 11-24 who face barriers to their learning or progression, by providing access to bike maintenance and leadership training

MOTS Founder, Emma Abdullah said: “Thanks to the donations of office furniture and equipment, which we were able to sell in our charity shop, we have so far raised £1,200! This is an amazing amount of money for our charity, and this will go towards providing hospital packs for our members who are going through their transplant journey.”

Gareth Davies, Deputy District Commissioner for Torfaen Scouts, added: “Our District (Cwmbran and Pontypool) Scout Shooting Club will be making use of these items to support the provision of air rifle / pistol shooting for young people in and around Torfaen.

“The tables are the ideal size for individual shooters to be self-contained with all of the equipment they need to take part. This allows more freedom with social distancing to help make these activities Covid-safe in the short term, while allowing for easier transport for events etc long term as well!”

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Danielle Booy-Pinker, Assistant Facilities Manager at USW, said: “The University of South Wales are committed to environmental engagements that ensures zero waste is sent direct to landfill and which maximises the diversion of waste to more sustainable solutions.

“We are very proud to work in partnership with Collecteco, who have supported us in donating furniture and equipment to local charities, schools, community groups, NHS Trusts and other not for profit good causes.”