We are pleased to welcome Anton Schultz, Social Investment Manager at One Manchester Housing Association, to help provide additional insight about their incredible donation project.
The housing association was looking to kill two birds with one stone, as explained by Anton:
“Primarily the problem related to our office move, knowing there was a lot of transition, a lot of surplus furniture and equipment, and also being mindful that we didn’t want to waste any of it. At the same time we have a social investment project to do, with a priority to support local groups and charities. When we saw the Warp It presentation it got us thinking there was an opportunity to minimise waste and maximise the benefits to the local groups we are working with.”
We first met Anton at the Smart Cities Conference in London, when we were doing a presentation on reuse in organisations.
“We have a recycling strategy, so I spoke with a few colleagues internally, and after a few chats about business development we were quite keen to try a new approach that could provide some of our key outcomes. We weren’t sure if it would work, but we saw potential and room for development, as we’ve been scoping out providing our own furniture recycling project. This was on the back of our minds, as we saw an opportunity to source assets this way. So, we went for it.”
“We have donated to 21 local community groups and charities, 3 NHS trusts and 1 national charity. We also reallocated some assets internally, like supporting our sheltered housing scheme with their food bank. Having this centralised online catalogue has been helpful.”
“We set up the system to give priority to local groups, and whilst we eventually had to open up to a bigger network, most of our donations were made locally.”
- One Manchester Housing Association’s collaboration with Warp It started in February 2018, but despite this short period of time, they have already donated over £80,000 worth of assets, including £69,500 to charity.
- This incredible figure comes from donated items that weighed a total of around 10 tonnes, and held 46,000kg of carbon.
- 83.5% of the donated items consisted of storage, chairs and desks, helping those who need basic furnishings to get exactly what they need.
“There was an unknown about what level of use Warp It could have for us, but we saw a good opportunity for the office move, but not much scope beyond that for relevant activity. Internal coordination had questions, but we got a few key people together to make the project work.”
“Community development, office management and social investment were the main teams encouraging and supporting the project and onboarding members. I guess our team was championing it to potential members because it was most helpful for us from the social value perspective. Facilities management were also great with Warp It integration.”
“Towards the end of our first clearance project, some people started taking things without logging them on the system, so we may have missed out on some interesting data and visibility.”
We asked Anton if the housing association sector would work well with Warp It in general.
“There’s scope. The internal market isn’t huge, but other housing associations would benefit from the local networks and connections. Other housing providers, local authorities and universities could work well together to make use of the potential.”