This past year has been
particularly exciting for Bristol Wood Recycling Project (BWRP) after receiving
its crowdfunding investment in February 2019. This enabled the company to buy
its premises in central Bristol and invest in its future as a growing,
innovative and sustainable social enterprise.
BWRP collects waste
wood in and around Bristol and puts it to good use by making bespoke custom
furniture, recycling it sustainably or it is used for heat reclamation at power
stations. The company also operates a successful volunteer programme that
enables social inclusion and learning.
We recently caught
up with one of its founders Ben Moss who talked about what the impact has been post
“In essence there
has been growth in everything that we do. Both the investment and the publicity
which came with the crowdfunding effort has helped us to develop and grow. We
have increased our capacity of wood reuse (for example through furniture making)
from 35% to 40%, our workshop staffing employment has increased by over 20% and
overall we have seen our total income increase by 15%.” said Ben.
Volunteers are very
important to BWRP and they often come from a wide variety of backgrounds to gain
a lot of experience and knowledge with some going on to become staff members or
to gain employment elsewhere.
Ben explained: “We
have also seen our volunteer capacity grow by 15% to just under 1,350 volunteer
days in the year, which has been very empowering.”
BWRP has also taken
on a new volunteer led project called ‘Shed Zone’ where marginal timber pieces
heading for recycling are now made into beautiful and functional recycling or waste
bin covers for householders.
The company is now
also award-winning after being crowned ‘Breakthrough Co-operative of the Year
2019’ in the Co-op awards recognising its growth and achievements since the
Hundreds of Triodos investors
supported BWRP it its crowdfunding raise last year when Ben was asked what he
thinks of the people who invested he simply said: “We think they are amazing
and can’t thank them enough. By investing in us they have invested in the
future of our company and our volunteers, as well as the future of wood
recycling in Bristol.”