Our new Maternity Cover Reuse Consortium Coordinator Rhoda is settling into her new role, and has written a short blog detailing her first short months in post. Read below to learn about Rhoda’s past experience, and her learning on the job, including taking time to visit our Reuse Consortium members, including Furniture Plus and Castle Furniture.

“One month of flying solo!

It has been my privilege to take on the coordination of the Reuse Consortium while Nicola Aeberli is on maternity leave, caring for baby Skylar.

I hope with my previous experience in the Third Sector to really understand the challenges that are faced by everyone involved and bring an understanding approach to all my interactions. The benefit and significant contribution that the Third Sector makes across Scotland is an enduring theme for me and it is encouraging that through the work of the Consortium individual local governments can partner with that. This is especially significant in light of the cost of living pressures that we are all facing.

I’ve enjoyed meeting some of the Consortium members and the Local Authorities, hearing about their joys and challenges. I have been struck with the passion that people have for reuse, and over and above that the fantastic and varied work they do in their communities. People who would normally not have the opportunity to work are given training and a worthwhile role; they are valued and accepted, with members providing a safe and supportive environment for them to flourish in.

At Furniture Plus in Kirkaldy I met staff who had developed new skills in retail, warehousing, and admin. In Glenrothes, Castle Furniture gives training in the servicing of washing machines and white goods. Consortium members are caring communities for those with mental health challenges, some having experienced longer term unemployment and exclusion due to their disabilities.

Buying from the Consortium enables Local Authorities and other housing providers to be part of this Social Contract, and also move towards our goal in Scotland to reduce waste and Co2 emissions.

Having just started looking at the statistics for the year 2022 / 2023 I can see the difference that buying from the Consortium makes. Next month I’ll be able to share more of the story in numbers. I’ve also been struck with how much more there is to do and trust that in the year I’m in post I’ll see the consortium grow with more Local Authorities and Housing providers.”

The Circular Communities Scotland Reuse Consortium offers Local Authorities and Housing Associations easy access to a range of quality assured reuse furniture and household goods from local providers, without having to go through a tendering process. If you’re a Circular Communities Scotland member and would like to trade through the consortium, email rhoda@circularcommunities.scot to learn more.