Over time we have developed close working relationships with many organisations and none more so than with our friends at IKEA Gateshead.
Since 2015, our partnership has strengthened to such an extent that we have recently developed a collaborative promotional flyer that explains the value of reuse for their customers, as well as showing the real effect it has on individual lives and the local community.
We have regular meetings in Gateshead to discuss progress and have enabled them to achieve top three status for reuse in their national takeback scheme.
This time however, IKEA came to us! Their staff were very impressed by what we had to offer and how we help people across the Tees Valley and were able to offer practical, constructive advice on merchandising. They knew we redistributed beds and upholstery as they are one of our suppliers but were surprised at all the other items on sale, like the new white goods and bedroom furniture, the books and bric-a-brac, and some of the ‘high end’ dining sets, bedroom and occasional furniture.
We explained how our dual pricing system worked and how some of our customers were people just looking for a bargain or a speciality piece that was difficult to source elsewhere. These customers are vital to Frade as they supply the funds to keep us going and allow us to offer the FRADE discount prices to those most in need.
We also shared how donations enable us to support the most vulnerable members of our community. We work closely with Local Authorities and other partners like Thirteen, SAAFA and Citizens Advice to provide emergency furniture for people who have very little. We also endeavour to provide the incidental furniture and other pieces that turns accommodation into a home.
They went back to Gateshead with a renewed sense of what we can achieve together and fresh ideas about how they, and their customers, can help the charity.