Thirteen teams up with IKEA Gateshead to upcycle furniture and support its customers

We've teamed up with furniture company IKEA Gateshead to repair and upcycle damaged, unsellable items, to help our customers who need a little support in setting up their homes.


9 Apr 2024

We've been working with the IKEA store in Gateshead, who has kindly donated a generous amount of furniture items such as mattresses, sofas, rugs, cupboards, to support the furniture upcycling scheme, at our recycling centre in Billingham. 

The specialist upcycling team recondition furniture donations, before giving it away to customers that have low incomes, have lost possessions from fleeing dangerous circumstances or have previously been homeless.

Recycling centre manager Helen Beaman said: “We successfully began upcycling furniture just over one year ago and we’ve helped hundreds of families. By working together with the team at IKEA Gateshead, we’re helping even more of our customers, who need extra support, with essential household items, and for that we’re incredibly grateful.”

Loyalty specialist Lyndsay Officer at IKEA Gateshead said: “We’re always looking at new ways to work together to give back to those who need some support in the community, so after hearing about the work that the team do here at the upcycling centre for their customers, we knew there was something that we could do to help.

“So, we got together to look at how we could help with donations, and in turn would help us to cut down on waste. For us this is just like helping out your neighbour and it’s fantastic to see the pieces of furniture being re-used to set up a home for families who really need it.”  

Helen continued: “By upcycling furniture, we’re not only helping our customers who are facing severe financial challenges furnish their homes with clean, restored and attractive furniture, but we’re preventing hundreds of tonnes of unwanted furniture going to landfill.”

The facility, which became the first of its kind among northern housing associations has seen the upcycling team transform the warehouse from an empty storage space to a workshop stocked with a wealth of material, upholstery, soft furnishings area and a woodwork and metal workshop.

The organisation is working to reduce its waste by 95% and this proactive approach to reducing, reusing, and recycling unwanted items continues to be a huge boost to their efforts.