Local community organisation Reuse Littleborough has submitted its third bid to become a registered charity.
The Reuse Littleborough Hub in the centre of Littleborough exists to provide an eco-friendly solution to prevent people from throwing perfectly usable items away.
The group was originally started eight years ago after Michael Bamford noticed a discrepancy between the waste we have in our country and those in need in poorer countries.
It began with an online post, asking for donations of unwanted baby items to send to the Forever Angels Baby Home in Tanzania and grew into a larger movement, with the main hub in Littleborough, a second-hand baby and children’s clothing shop and a resource centre for support workers, helping the likes of women fleeing violence, the homeless, those discharged from long-term hospital care, the elderly, asylum seekers and refugees.
The team also helps supports many other local needs, such as the Rochdale Foodbank and the Red Box Project, and collects used ink cartridges and used batteries.
Reuse Littleborough first applied for charitable status in 2018, but has thus far been unsuccessful.
Michael said: “Our application for charity status has now been submitted for the third time.
“I still find it difficult to understand why our previous applications have failed, but I’m sure the Charity Commission have good reason, and it may be that we have not explained our aims properly.
“During our launch, the then-Mayor Councillor Zaman spoke of a time when every town would have a Reuse. The concept was quite simple: the first port of call for anything of quality that is no longer needed or wanted should not be the local tip. Instead, it could be collected, cleaned, maybe restored and offered to a local family who have nothing, or very little, as identified by professionals.
“Anything deemed non-essential to a family setting up home could be sold to pay for overheads. This has worked perfectly well now for five years and is running smoothly. We are self-funded and volunteer led, and have got it to a fine art. We pay no wages; never ask for your hard-earned money; never have a tin rattled with our name on and survive by selling donations in our local hub.
“The hub is far more than just another charity shop, the locals love it and has become an integral part of our community. Our volunteers work very hard and are very passionate about our aims.”
He added: “We have had massive support from our Facebook group which has over 8,000 members.
“As a registered charity, we will have a board of trustees that will confirm every decision we take and be open and transparent to all.”