Celebrity raffle promotes furniture reuse

A T-shirt worn and signed by singer Debbie Harry, an armchair owned by actress Joanna Lumley, and tennis star Pat Cash's old sofa were up for grabs at a raffle with a difference.

The trio were among a group of celebrities who donated furniture and other household items to The Big Womble, an event promoting furniture reuse.

Organised by the Furniture Reuse Network (FRN), the event at Wimbledon College, in London, encouraged people to become Wombles for the day by making good use of old furniture that they found.

Every year, millions of household items and pieces of furniture are thrown away in the UK, but many can be reused. Every tonne of furniture rescued from landfill saves an average of nearly three tonnes of carbon.

One of the highlights of the event, on February 20, was the raffle of items donated by celebrities, with money going towards FRN’s work to help people on low incomes get second-hand furniture and other household items.

Paul Smith, chief executive of the FRN, said; “We are excited that celebrities have seen the value of what we do and are supporting the re-use sector with donations of prizes.

“Money raised will go to supporting the work the FRN and its members do to reduce poverty in Britain.”

Debbie Harry said: “I’ve donated to the Big Womble because people who’ve been homeless need a helping hand and many of these organisations help with that.”

The London Community Recycling Network (LCRN), which is coordinating the event, encouraged Londoners to bring in old and unwanted furniture and household items to be refurbished and reused with the help of eco-friendly designer Ryan Frank.

Speaking from the event, LCRN communications coordinator Hannah Kowszun told edie: “It’s a hub of activity. I am cleaning up an old door now to turn into something new.”

There was also a workshop showing people how to make tidy bags out of T-shirts, and masterclasses on effective reuse.

Kate Martin

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