Hunslet social enterprise makes its mark

On the up: Hunslet-based social enterprise Re:work is celebrating success
A social enterprise has proved it’s got legs after winning its biggest ever contract.

Re:Work Office Furniture, which sells used and new recycled office furniture, is celebrating the £30,000 contract to kit out Health for All’s new Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre in Middleton.  

After nearly four years of trading, the organisation has diverted hundreds of tonnes of used office desks, drawers, chairs, filing cabinets and more from landfill. It has also doubled its staff, installed an extra floor in its Hunslet premises to accommodate extra stock, and provided dozens of work experience placements to local people.

Chief executive Caroline Wherritt said:

“This contract was the culmination of a lot of hard work which has gone into establishing Re:Work.

“When I first began trading in January 2008 I knew nothing about furniture and nothing about business.

“We were very naive, but we held to the vision we had for Re-Work from the beginning. It was about putting quality office furniture back onto the market rather than into a landfill, saving hundreds of pounds for new or existing businesses, and creating work placements or job opportunities to help local people get back to work.”

Rachel Irwin, PA to Health For All’s senior management team, co-ordinated furnishing the new building. She said:

“We got quotations from five different companies but we chose Re-Work because of what they stand for as a social enterprise, because they’re local, and because their customer service is second-to-none.”

Re:Work celebrated its progress so far, and a recently completed re-brand, with 50 local businesses at a gathering at their Hunslet showroom.

 Caroline added:

“It’s taken a lot of effort by a lot of hardworking people to get to where we are now, and there’s a lot of hard work ahead of us. But I’m proud to say we’ve now laid the foundations of a really good social enterprise which is not only a healthy, profitable business, but also makes a real difference to the environment and the lives of the local community.”

Rework is at Unit 15, Severn Way, Hunslet. Its remit is to carry out office clearance and removals for local businesses, cleaning and repairing the furniture it takes away, reselling the best items and recycling the rest. It also supplies new recycled furniture.

Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre has been created to encourage business and enterprise activities within Middleton and south Leeds.