Our charity is celebrating after winning a prestigious Reuse Network award. The accolade recognises the work of The Benjamin Foundation, in partnership with leading waste and resource management company, FCC Environment, to promote reuse and prevent waste, while creating social value and raising funds to support young people in Norfolk and Suffolk.

We were presented with the Reuse Network’s Innovative Project of the Year award at a ceremony last month to recognise and celebrate the success of the Norwich Reuse Drop Off Centre which opened in June 2022. The Innovative Project of the Year award recognises originality, inspired ideas and acknowledges those who have worked hard to implement them. We have transformed the former local authority operated recycling centre on Swanton Road, Norwich to an innovative, first of its kind for the UK, reuse drive through and drop off centre, making reuse in Norwich more accessible and convenient than ever.

The project is already making an impact by giving new life to pre-loved items. These are sorted, with good quality furniture and household items being sold in The Benjamin Foundation furniture stores in Norwich, Holt, Dereham and King’s Lynn to raise money to support the charity’s work with young people in Norfolk and Suffolk. Since opening, over 500 people have visited Norwich Reuse Drop Off Centre to donate pre-loved items, resulting in over 60 tonnes of reusable items finding a new home.

“The Norwich Reuse Drop Off Centre is a champion for a change of thinking – not just encouraging people to donate their pre-loved goods, but the drive-through facility makes it easier than ever for them to do so,” explains Paul Sinclair, The Benjamin Foundation Operations Manager.

The result is that new life is given to second hand items, the amount of waste going to landfill is reduced, and vital funds are raised to support local children and young people who access services provided by The Benjamin Foundation.

The Benjamin Foundation has been supporting young people locally for over 25 years via a range of services to prevent youth homelessness, provide emotional wellbeing support and offer positive activities for young people, including young carers. Last year, they supported over 3,000 people in Norfolk and Suffolk. Their network of stores for pre-loved furniture and household items helps to raise vital funds to support The Benjamin Foundation’s work. In 2021/22, 3,200 supporters donated unwanted household items to The Benjamin Foundation. The charity sold 22,500 pre-loved items in Norfolk, and recycled 526 tonnes of waste in Suffolk, which may otherwise have gone to landfill.

Paul continues: “We are delighted to be presented with the Innovative Project of the Year award in recognition of our work. We are so proud to work in collaboration with FCC Environment to promote reuse, reducing waste and enabling local people to do their bit for the environment. Money raised from the sale of items helps to fund our work with children, young people and families in Norfolk and Suffolk, supporting them to make positive changes in their lives.”

Liam Bould, Regional Development Manager for FCC Environment said: We are immensely proud at FCC to reopen a closed recycling centre and turn it into a reuse hub for the residents of Norwich. We operate over 100 HWRCs across the UK and have a reuse solution on virtually every site. It amazes us how much gets thrown away that could easily be reused. The facility in Swanton Road now allows the local residents of Norwich to drive-thru and donate items to a wonderful charity in The Benjamin Foundation; avoiding waste and supporting local families. The opportunities are endless with the drop off centre and we are excited to continue working in partnership with our charity partner to create a sustainable space for the residents of Norwich.”

The Reuse Network is the UK’s only membership body dedicated to charitable and voluntary reuse organisations. Working with their network of members, they are reducing poverty, tackling waste and offering a brighter and better future for the most isolated individuals in society.

The Norwich Reuse Drop Off Centre is located on Swanton Road, Norwich, NR2 4LH and is open Wednesday to Sunday 9am – 4pm (closed Public Holidays).

For more information, visit: https://swantonreuse.fccenvironment.co.uk/ or follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebenjaminfoundationnorwichreusedropoff to keep up to date with latest news and events, including pop-up shops.

Quote Marks Left I really enjoyed opening up my presents. Thank you so much.

A young person we look after in one of our accommodation centres

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