Thanks to the charity Refurbiz, more than 5,000 low income families in Wiltshire have benefited from quality reconditioned white goods at prices they can afford. But now the charity’s flow of donated items is being choked off by the credit crunch.
“As people hang on to their old models and machines for longer we are increasingly in need of unwanted electric cookers and fridges. We simply can’t meet the demand we now have for them, and as the recession bites deeper and more people find themselves in difficulties, the demand is only going to go up,” says Board Member Ken Brown.
“We have only been able to supply about 5% of the demand – the minute a cooker or fridge comes in, it is snapped up,” says Ken.
“So please, if you are replacing any white goods, particularly electric cookers and working fridges, then phone us and we will come out to view them. If they are suitable we will take them away and only ask for a small donation to contribute to our collection costs.”
Refurbiz operates out of the Hopton Park Industrial Estate in Devizes, and supplies refurbished white goods across Wiltshire and Swindon. It was set up by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust five years ago to encourage electrical waste to be reused for the benefit of those in need. It is now an independent not-for-profit charity partially funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
“We screen the goods, restore those that can be mended and then pass them on to those in need. Typically, by the time all the work has been done on them, the cost of a washing machine or cooker comes to about £85 with a three-month warranty – vastly lower than buying goods from the stores,” explains Ken.
“Any items that are beyond repair are stripped down to reusable components, and finally any bits left over are sent to the Hills Waste Materials Recovery Facility near Calne for recycling, avoiding our scrap going into landfill,” he adds.
So if you have any white goods you no longer want and wish to donate, you can help a family in need by contacting Refurbiz on (01380) 720200.