(FINALIST 2018) Upcycling furniture: a programme that aims to reduce the amount of furniture in landfills by giving it to people in need.

This project relieves pressure on public services, on the one hand by reducing the amount of bulky re-usable furniture that ends up in landfill or energy plants. And on the other hand, by connecting those suffering from furniture poverty with quality upcycled furniture, thereby supporting families and vulnerable adults without the need for council intervention. Upcycling second-hand furniture increases capacity, improves efficiency and enables multiple partners to scale their operations in a cost-effective manner, testing new ways of working in collaboration to deliver public services.

This project thereby advances the efficiency of public services, industry, commerce and social enterprises; relieves poverty; and supports environmental protection, by encouraging and supporting innovation, for the public benefit. Over a nine-month period, the project has diverted 78 tonnes of bulky furniture, 357 people have donated furniture, and 190 households in a small geographical area have benefited. A recently initiating a pilot is expected to increase these figures.




Ellen Ball

Area Chair of East Sunderland Area Committee, Sunderland City Council