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Ryobi UK Launches ‘Re-Build’ Campaign To Tackle Hidden Issue Of Furniture Poverty

Ryobi Re-Build 3

Ryobi UK today launched the Re-Build Campaign to help fight furniture poverty, an aspect of the UK’s nationwide housing crisis that has forced millions of people to endure substandard living conditions.

Latest figures suggest that furniture poverty is a hidden horror affecting some 14 million people* in the UK that has unfolded amidst the housing crisis: with an estimated 2 million people in the UK lacking basic pieces of furniture or home appliances, causing significant negative effects on family dynamics, social lives, personal wellbeing and mental health. 

New research from Ryobi UK reveals a concealed devastation caused by COVID-19, with 38% of people across the UK struggling financially thanks to the pandemic and one in five unable to afford to prevent their home falling into disrepair as a result. The findings also showed that 21% of people in the South East alone are so ashamed of the state of their home that their mental health suffers as a result. This is impacting on children with 16% of respondents saying that their children were forced to share beds as a result of the furniture poverty families faced. 

Simultaneously, every day hundreds of pieces of perfectly good furniture and household fittings are discarded at dumps, in landfill, or via fly tipping up and down the country. Our research shows almost a quarter of people admit to throwing away perfectly good items that could have been used by someone else, especially those in need. 

Thomas Leather, Head of Marketing at Ryobi UK, said: “We saw there was a real problem going on around us with fly tipping and families struggling with lack of essential household items. Once we saw the scale of the problem, we looked at what we could do in the community to make things better as a tool company.

Working with our partners at Central Aid, we are able to make a real difference to people’s homes by using our expertise to save broken and unusable furniture and add our help to the amazing work the charity already does. 

“But this is really scratching the surface. What we have realised since beginning the campaign is the sheer scale of the issue facing people in High Wycombe and as our research shows, across the UK. It is a real problem in society. This is a hidden issue for many and much more needs to be done to support – our campaign is a small start but everyone can do more by seeking our charities similar to Central Aid up and down the country, through the Reuse Network and donate their unwanted furniture to really make a difference.” 

PARTNERSHIP AND COMMUNITY 

In partnership with High Wycombe Central Aid Society as well as Wycombe Wanderers footballer Adebayo ‘the Beast’ Akinfenwa, the Ryobi Re-Build Campaign reclaims unwanted furniture and fittings, and puts DIY skills to use to upcycle that material and provide it to the families and individuals living in furniture poverty who need it the most. 

Stuart Allen, General Manager at High Wycombe Central Aid, said: “For someone who’s got no money or huge debts, or has come out of situations of abuse, we are there to provide the basics and the essentials to make their empty house feel like more of a home, especially for children. There is a lot of wasted furniture, and there are many people who want to see that furniture used for a good purpose. And there are even more people that need that support, that we try and help every day.” 

Akinfenwa added: “I’ve heard stories and seen for myself people who have children and don’t have carpets, beds, settees in their house. I’ve thrown away things that could have been reused so being part of this campaign is overwhelming, especially to see the smile it puts on a child’s face when they have the furniture delivered. 

“I’m a father of five and this resonates with me. Like everybody, I have complained about what I didn’t have during lockdown, forced to spend time inside your house. But it’s the simple things that make a difference – people having to choose between a microwave and a fridge which is something so many of us take for granted. So, I want to help raise awareness of this issue.” 

THE REUSE NETWORK 

The Re-Build campaign has also partnered with the Reuse Network, which supports a network of reuse charities across the UK to help them alleviate poverty, reduce waste and tackle climate change. In 2020, the charity reuse sector in the UK supplied 3.4 million items of furniture and electrical appliances. This has helped an estimated 1.5 million households, saving them an estimated £427.6 million compared to buying new, but it still scratches the surface of the problem. 

Lesley Prescott, Head of Operations at the Reuse Network, explained more about the impact that furniture donation can have for people in need: “Passing on furniture that you no longer need to someone who does, is nothing new. What has changed, especially in the wake of the pandemic, is the breadth and scope of the demand for second-hand furniture and electrical appliances. 

As part of the Re-Build Campaign and the partnership with the Reuse Network, Ryobi UK will also work with the Network’s associated charities to provide tools and expertise to help them build on the fantastic work they do. 

You can help the fightback against furniture poverty by donating any unwanted furniture you may have. To find out more about the Re-build campaign and locate a furniture charity near you, please visit www.ryobitools.co.uk/re-build

Watch the Re-Build campaign video here.

Source : RYOBI

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25 July 2021

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