Furniture donation for school library

May Park Primary School in Easton contacted Sustainability for surplus furniture so that they could create a new library for the children. They wanted to highlight sustainability to the young students by using second-hand furniture and were also keen to promote higher education by making them aware that their new library had been supported by the University of Bristol.

Sustainability were contacted by a parent volunteer at May Park Primary School in Easton, where parents and teachers are jointly creating a library for the children.

The school was looking to furnish the library with second-hand furniture - both to promote sustainability at the school and to protect funding for books. They were asking whether any University department ever either donate or sell second-hand library furniture - bookcases, trolleys, display furniture etc., and as the Circular Economy team in Sustainability run a warehouse of available surplus furniture, resulting from office moves and upgrades, we were happy to help.

By reusing surplus furniture within the University, we ensure we move away from the linear purchase-use-dispose lifecycle of furniture. Within the University, departments frequently move locations or have clear outs as we progress towards paperless working, resulting in surplus storage furniture. Much of the furniture is reused within the University, but as the turnover is constant, the volume of furniture we have is such that we always have surplus to spare and help our local community.

The Re-Store warehouse houses lots of good-quality furniture, the majority being standard office furniture, but occasionally we get domestic items like sofas or quirky items which there is limited demand for. It’s this type of furniture which we donated to May Park Primary School, suitable for the library the teachers were creating.

Rebekah Curtis from the school said “Thank you so much again for showing us the University furniture on Thursday! We’re really pleased as it’s going to make a great learning space for the children!"

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