A scheme which provides a new home in the Borough for that old wardrobe or kitchen table has just won a major green award for the number of needy families it has helped across Cheshire East and further afield.
Supported by Cheshire East Council, the Cheshire Furniture Reuse Forum collects unwanted furniture and appliances and sells them at low cost to families and residents in need.
The forum collected 600 tonnes of items last year which then went to 13,000 households across the Borough and neighbouring Cheshire West and Chester.
The hard work of staff and volunteers has rewarded the forum with a Green Apple Environment Award for best practice.
The forum competed with 500 other nominations to secure the award, which will be officially recognised and presented at a special ceremony in the Houses of Parliament in November.
Cheshire East Council leader Michael Jones said: “The forum is to be congratulated on this fantastic achievement.
“It is a little-known organisation that carries out a very valuable service in our communities and should be supported at every opportunity.
“It also creates employment, placements and training opportunities for people.”
Cabinet member for regeneration and assets, Cllr Don Stockton, said: “I would urge our residents to think twice before disposing of their unwanted household items because here is an award-winning scheme which can direct reusable goods towards a needy family.
“We live in a disposable society and we should remember that so much of what we conveniently take to the local tip could easily be of use to another household some where.”
The Green Apple Awards, which began in 1994, are supported by the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Chartered Institution for Waste Management and a number of other independent bodies.
The Cheshire Furniture Reuse Forum is supported by Cheshire East Council and delivered by its wholly-owned company ANSA Enivronmental Services in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester.
The forum has achieved a 22 per cent year on year increase in reuse, with recycling up by 50 per cent.
The number of households helped through the scheme has risen by 13 per cent, staff numbers have increased by 11 per cent and the income retained within the local economy has increased by seven per cent.
The project supports individuals and families at a time of most need, accessing furniture they otherwise could not afford and providing furniture in emergency situations.
It also reduces the volume going to landfill, whilst also creating employment, volunteering and training opportunities.
Naomi Graham, coordinator for the Cheshire Furniture Reuse Forum, said: ”No-one wants to see their much-loved item going to landfill if it could go to help and be appreciated by another family.
“This award acknowledges the hard work of the staff and volunteers across all the projects who make sure that preloved items can be used by others.”
There are four reuse projects in Cheshire East.
They are Christian Concern, covering Crewe and Nantwich, Furnaround in Macclesfield, Wilmslow and District Furniture Recycling in Wilmslow, Tree of Life Centre (Wythenshawe) and Wesley Community Furniture (Manchester), which cover north east Cheshire.