The ReUse Centre is a registered charity (number 1129434) which took over the operations of charitable trust Furniture Link (Bedford) in 2009. Started as Furniture Link Bedford (FLB) in 1998. FLB was formed as an initiative from the Borough Council and a number of local organizations with a vested interest in alleviating poverty and/or protecting the environment. Initially FLB was only open to those in receipt of benefits but over time it became apparent that we could do more good if we were open to all. Now everyone can shop at The ReUse Centre (TRC) but our "members" receive a 10-20% discount. Membership is free and available to anyone in receipt of benefits or tax credits or who has been referred to us from another charity or social service.
The company collects second-hand and nearly-new furniture and electrical goods from companies and private individuals for re-sale at a reduced cost to people on low incomes or means tested benefits. Furniture and electrical goods are also available for re-sale to the general public at normal second-hand prices. All electrical goods are inspected and passed as safe to use before re-sale. The company also collects clothes, table and giftware, toys and games, books, DVDs and CDs.
As a social enterprise and social firm, the company helps people get back into work through its volunteering scheme, providing reception, warehousing, driving and administration roles and providing personal development support with a range of skills and work-related training.
The ReUse Centre has been delivering value into the community and embracing the three R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) for well over fifteen years now. Last year thousands of people bought items from TRC and in doing so they helped to keep 19 tons of material out of landfill and away from incinerators. This went hand in hand with providing over 17,000 hours of work experience and job skills to the members of their volunteer workforce.