Waste is a poverty issue and it’s a central theme of Greater Manchester’s new Furniture Poverty Hub.
In the UK, we throw away 10 million items of furniture and electrical appliances each year. It’s estimated that nearly 6 million items are repairable or reusable. Furniture poverty charities need a constant supply of reusable items to pass on to low income households. Their affordable, ethical and environmental approach helps reduce household debt and improve financial and social inclusion. It means these households can avoid the rent-to-own market, payday lenders and loan sharks.
It also means the charities are diverting thousands of tonnes of household waste from landfill or incineration and reducing CO2 emissions. For example, 1 tonne of sofas, salvaged for reuse, means 1.5 tonnes less CO2 released into the atmosphere. With better strategic partnership working between the public, private and third sectors to improve resource management, the furniture poverty sector can make a vital contribution to meeting Andy Burnham’s recently announced carbon neutrality targets for GM by 2040; and creating inclusive growth jobs in the process.
Furniture Poverty charities working to alleviate material poverty are needed more than ever.
Tackling the threat of homelessness is a top priority; in some poorer areas of Greater Manchester, over 40% of children are living in poverty, and austerity continues to impact upon household and public sector budgets. With the reduction in local authority funding and as demand for help from communities increases, these organisations are an essential resource and partner to meet the region’s many challenges and opportunities.
The Furniture Poverty Hub supports these organisations to build resilience and capacity, to do more for their communities.
The first meeting of furniture poverty charities in Greater Manchester will be taking place on Thursday April 12th, 2018. If your charity, social enterprise or community group is using pre-used furniture to supply to low income households, for skills development purposes or to subsidise other charitable activities in support of your communities, they’d really like you to come along. Please email the Furniture Poverty Hub for more information. More information is available on their website