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Oxford Office Refurbishment: Upcycling our desks to a local school

27.06.2022

In a special edition blog, Victoria McWade, Senior Director provides a first-hand account on the refurb that’s currently taking place at our Wallingford House office, and the steps we took to ensure none of our used (not old) items ended up in landfill.

As I type, I’m enjoying the gentle hub-bub of being in the office with colleagues, in a refreshing new space and feeling super proud. Here in Wallingford House, we are the official HQ of HRW, however over the years we have got stuck in a cluttered and tired looking space. As times have changed and we work in a more hybrid way, the need for large desks with in/out trays, filing cabinets and under desk draw space has become obsolete which is why we set about ‘The Big Tidy Up’.

After the initial sorting out of museum worthy artifacts (e.g., tip-Ex, treasury ties, content analysis hand-written on A3 paper), we identified more ‘valuable’ items for charity shops (books, picture frames, vases, shoes) and set about looking into the removal of our larger equipment in readiness for new desks and spaces, however we soon realised these were heading for landfill as there was no sale value in them for the companies quoting. As perfectly workable desks, this is very much out of kilter with our values therefore we set about the more challenging yet rewarding task of finding new homes for our equipment. Advertising on local freecycle pages, we were able to access Wallingford local school and several local organisations who, over the coming weeks, trapsed out of our office with an array of office items delighted to have some new equipment for their own needs.

Our bigger ticket items (large desks and drawers) were dismantled and donated to the nearby Europa School, which were eager to provide a small yet heartfelt message.

“All of the staff at Europa school would like to say a HUGE thank you to Healthcare Research Worldwide for the extremely generous furniture donation which has given our working areas a more modern look. Thank you” (PA to Principal)

At HRW, we pride ourselves in going that extra mile and we most certainly wouldn’t stop with an office refurb. So, as we enjoy our new space, we can take a proud moment to reflect on how we have arrived here – looking to support our local community and doing our bit to help the environment.

Right… anyone for a game of air hockey? (secondhand purchase of course).

 

By Victoria McWade

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