Waste not, want not – University donates tonnes of equipment to charity

Date 7.08.2018

The University of Northampton has donated over ten tonnes of unwanted health and education equipment from its soon-to-be-demolished Park campus, to a local charity.

Phoenix Resource Centre, a charity in Wellingborough, is collecting everything from workbooks, binders, stationary, medical supplies, athletics equipment, even an old boxing ring – to distribute out to hospitals, schools and associated charities across the world.

The equipment was deemed surplus to requirements, as University staff make the move from Park Campus to the new Waterside campus – which officially opens its doors to students in September 2018.

Kelia Hurley, Building & Quality Coordinator at the University, said: “When staff were starting to pack up everything ready for our move to Waterside last year, we realised that there were a lot of items that we weren’t going to take but were still in good condition to be re-used.

“All our tutors were amazing during this process, going through their resources and sorting what could be used by others. We started the process with faculties of education and health – to see if they’d like to donate all of their re-usable items and it has grown from there.”

The Phoenix Resource Centre, which has been running for over nine years, process and supply re-usable resources to schools, charities, homeless shelters, food banks both in the UK and overseas.

In the UK alone, the charity help more than a million people a year. It now works in over 61 countries, and has set up schools in Kurdistan for refugees during the Syrian war, as well as establishing a charity and hospital in Ghana.

The large-scale removal project has been ongoing since August 2017 and has already benefitted schools and associations both locally and nationally.

Andrew Richardson, Managing Director of Phoenix Resource Centre, said: “So far we’ve taken just short of eight-and-a-half tonnes of resources from the campus, a lot of it has come from the Faculty of Education and Humanities and that has gone over to schools over in Somaliland, Ghana and Uganda.

“We’ve also taken medical supplies from the Faculty of Health and Society, and that’s gone out to Somaliland and Uganda and included everything from old uniforms through to obsolete equipment.

“Then we’ve had a lot of arts and craft equipment that we’ve sent out to schools across the UK and locally in Northamptonshire.

“We have also taken a lot of crockery and odds and ends that has gone out to the homeless – places such as The Spring Charity in Northampton and through the food poverty network that we are a part of.”

Andrew admits a project of this scale only comes along once every few years for the charity. He added: “This project is very important, mainly due to the variety of resources we are able to employ and provide to schools and universities abroad and in the UK. This has been a large-scale effort – we’ve taken on a whole range of teaching and health resource, this will be key for our initiatives abroad – in particular the new schools we are planning to build.”