Reuse Consortium members Four Square, Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company and Stella’s Voice recently took part in the Community Learning Exchange.

The Community Learning Exchange offers a great opportunity for organisations who are planning new ventures to visit and learn from the experiences of other organisations in Scotland. It is funded by Scottish Government, and run by the Scottish Community Alliance.

After meeting at the Circular Communities Scotland annual conference in November, Edinburgh-based Consortium members Four Square arranged for an in-person visit to North Ayrshire-based Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company in January to learn more about Cunninghame’s reuse mattress cleaning project.

Four Square hoped that this visit would equip them with the knowledge to potentially create a similar mattresses cleaning project in Edinburgh, helping them to divert more of their donated mattresses from landfill. The visit was also to help Four Square modernise their booking system and website to save them time and money.

We’re delighted that the visit was a success, with Four Square gaining the knowledge needed to set up their own mattress cleaning project and overhaul their booking system and website. It also resulted in a mutual benefit for both organisations, with Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Project collecting 28 single mattresses and 21 single bed bases from Four Square following a large donation.  

In February, Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Project visited Stella’s Voice in Peterhead to learn how Stella’s Voice run its projects and process its donations. The two organisations were also looking at a potential partnership where Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Project could collect donated mattresses from Stella’s Voice, professionally clean them and then sell them back to Stella’s Voice.

We’re very pleased this visit was also successful, with Cunninghame Furniture Company and Stella’s Voice commencing a trial partnership shortly afterwards. As well as significantly reducing the amount of donated mattresses that end up in landfill, this partnership will also benefit the clients of both organisations, with more people in need receiving high quality cleaned reuse mattresses. 

The Community Learning Exchange is continuing to offer learning and partnership opportunities for our other Consortium members, with Aberdeen-based member Instant Neighbour also planning a visit to Cunninghame soon to learn about their mattress cleaning project.  

We are excited to see the ongoing benefits of these visits and encourage other community organisations across Scotland to consider a learning exchange visit through the programme. 

You can read more about Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company’s reuse mattress cleaning joint project with North Ayrshire Council here.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Reuse Consortium, contact Nicola at