What happens to our … Reuse items part 2

Stuff entrance

Welcome to the fifth in the series of what happens to our… Today we are going to be talking about reuse items with Stuff (Student Foodbank and Freecycle) which is run in collaboration between the Estates Department and Kent Union.

Stuff is a flagship project at the University in which the aim is to help student’s access services on campus for items such as food and freecycle items.

Stuff has been in the planning for a number of years, we have wanted to set up a charity shop on campus but it hasn’t been possible due to reasons such as space and finances. However when the Kent Union building (Mandela) was going through its refurb it brought up the option again and so we worked on figuring out how we could truly set this up. Kent Union had been aware of students who were needing to access a food bank and at the time they assisted Student Services with providing vouchers for the Canterbury Food Bank, however the goal was for a scheme on campus which would remove the need for the student to travel into the city. Through holding donation drives for FareShare over a number a years we knew that we would be able to get donations from our staff and students which would then directly positively impact our students.

Buying once and using twice.

As discussed in our previous post with the BHF we know that our students and staff donate huge amounts of items, so again we realised that this could help our students and so we decided to add in the freecycle element, this is the most useful when it comes to cookware like pots and pans or crockery like plates and bowls, when you arrive on campus you need these items but you don’t need a 6 person set, which sometimes is the only option and so there is a lot of wastage. This way once students are finished with certain items and don’t want to take them with them when they move out of student accommodation, they can donate them to Stuff which then can be provided to the next cohort of students for free. So your donations food or freecycle is helping your fellow students, and that’s such an amazing community.

We have a permanent store room location in Eliot where you can collect items, if you look at the Kent Union website it provides all details on how to locate the room, how to use the service and further information of what can be donated.

We also have permanent donation points located at Mandela, The Parkwood Student Building Woody’s and in the Estates Department, at the Post room entrance. Here you can donate all year round with the items then being moved to the store room by staff.

In the June chuck out period of 2019 we held our first donation events where we collected items ready for the start of Stuff, weighing 0.49 tonnes, for when term started again in September we then held an open freecycle collection event for the items that we had in our store ready for new homes! Click here to see our Instagram highlights of the event.

Since this event, Stuff has gone from strength to strength, items are regularly donated to the scheme with the current total of donations at the time of writing being 1.76 tonnes, equivalent to the weight of a giraffe! We have also provided 0.20 tonnes back to you. Our store is run by a group of dedicated student volunteers which we couldn’t be more grateful for and hope that Stuff continues to grow in its popularity and helpfulness.

Join us next month to find out what happens to our….reuse part 3, Warp-it (staff furniture reuse scheme).

If you have any questions or want to find out more please reach out through our Instagram, twitter or email and there is also lots of information including the A-Z of waste on our webpages.