Scottish households on a low income can access essential items such as beds, tables, fridges or washing machines quicker and cheaper thanks to a consortium of social enterprises providing them with quality second-hand goods. The Community Resources Network Scotland (CRNS) has created a consortium that works with local authorities and creates a connection between re-use social enterprises and clients of the Scottish Welfare Fund, a safety net for vulnerable people on low incomes.
Launched in January 2017 the consortium is able to support 24 local authorities in providing 34 types of key household items. The partnership brings financial, social and environmental benefits for the community. Purchasing second-hand instead of new saves expenses from the welfare fund to the local authorities and therefore allows support for more households. Buying from social enterprises also boosts the local economy and employment. Thanks to its local nature, delivery can proceed quicker and more efficiently which is important in cases where families lack the very basic items such as beds or cookers.
The consortium is led by CRNS, the Scottish national network of 120 social enterprises managing waste resources at a local level through recycling, reuse, composting, waste reduction and waste education activities. The network handles 70 000 tonnes of waste per year, creates 700 full-time equivalent positions and involves 3000 volunteers.