Reuse shop fundraising

Pictured: (From left to right) Zoe Harris, Community Fundraiser, East Anglian Air Ambulance; Martina Glason, Waste Reduction Officer, Norfolk County Council; David Fairweather, Recycling Advisor, NEWS; David Lake, Operational Contracts Manager, NEWS

Norfolk County Council’s reuse shops are celebrating their partnership with the East Anglian Air Ambulance as they crash through the £20,000 mark of funds raised so far for the charity.

Despite many of the 14 reuse shops having to close their doors at times throughout the last year due to Covid-19 restrictions, the shops – which are managed by Norse Group on behalf of the council – continued to raise money throughout 2020 and into 2021.

The latest £1,700 donation, which was presented to East Anglian Air Ambulance volunteers at Thetford recycling centre last weekend, takes the grand total of funds raised for the charity to £21,178.

Cllr Andy Grant, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment & Waste, said: “It’s wonderful to be able to support the incredible work the Air Ambulance does, and I’m really proud of all the work that has been put in by our reuse shops to raise this money. The last year has hit everyone hard, and the fact our shops have raised money despite all the other challenges they’ve faced during the pandemic shows just how much work and effort is put in by the teams running them.”

In April 2018 the East Anglian Air Ambulance was named the chosen charity of Norfolk County Council’s reuse shops and since then the shops have been donating a portion of their income to the Air Ambulance, raising £9,470 in 2018/19, £10,000 in 2019/20 and £1,708 in 2020/21.

Zoe Harris, Community Fundraiser at the East Anglian Air Ambulance, said: “Our partnership with Norfolk County Council’s reuse shops has gone from strength to strength and we are delighted that the reuse shops are continuing to raise crucial funds for us especially during the recent challenging times. We wouldn’t be able to provide our life-saving service without support of partnerships like this.”

Reuse shops play an important role in reducing waste as each shop prevents, on average, 100 tonnes of reusable items being thrown away every year.

So successful is the scheme, that four new reuse shops opened in Wells-next-the-Sea, Bergh Apton, Heacham and Wereham in 2019, and the reuse shops at Dereham and Caister recycling centres have doubled in size.

Two additional reuse shops will open in 2021 at the new recycling centres in Norwich North and Norwich South, currently under construction.

The Norwich North reuse shop will be the largest in the county, and the shop at the new Norwich South recycling centre – being built to replace the site at Ketteringham – will be eight times the size of the current one. Both will be managed day to day by NEWS.

Dave Newell, Director of NEWS, said: “At Norse are delighted to be able to do our part helping to protect the environment by preventing perfectly good, useable items going to waste, while also helping to raise vital funds for such a deserving charity. Add to that, that we are also offering people the chance to pick up a bargain and it’s a win-win all round.”