More than 60 people turned out on a drizzly Thursday in October to see John Griffiths AM, the Mayor of Newport and Uncle Bulgaria officially open the new Wastesavers Reuse Centre. The South Wales Argus gave it good coverage, as did  the waste industry press.

Emphasizing the importance of the waste hierarchy, to reduce, reuse and recycle, John Griffith went on to praise the social importance of the reuse centre, providing multiple training and work experience opportunities for people finding it hard to get work

Wastesavers simaltaniousely launched two new social programmes on the day; Digital World and Finding a Way. Both use the used furniture and IT equipment gathered at the centre to develop skills for disadvantaged groups in Newport.

Finding a Way was described by programme coordinator Emily Cottrell as “aiming to help people with longer term health problems start the process of trying to find work again.”

“Sometimes when people have longer term health issues and are on Earning Support Allowance they can start to think they will never get work again. This programme will give them a chance to have a go at all aspects of our business, from customer service to testing electrical equipment, in a non pressured atmosphere. It will give participants the confidence to try something new and consider paid work as an option again.”

Digital World is an IT skills development programme for the over 50s. “Our aim is to help people get over the fear factor many over 50s face when it comes to computers,” explain Emily. “We will run it as a six week programme, starting with one to one sessions in basic computer skills.  By the end of the six weeks they will be able to search and apply for jobs online.”

Penny Goodwin, CEO of Wastsavers said: “We’re really excited about this new centre. We are now collecting more quality furniture than ever before, and having the Wastavers IT programme in the same building is also a great advantage for our customers and our social programmes.”

“The Reuse Centre  much more than just about getting a bargain,” Penny continued, “there is a strong social and environmental side to the work going on here.”

The opening got some good coverage in the local media and more promotional events are planned for later in the year.