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Prisoners to remanufacture office furniture

06 May 2011

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and Amaryllis have announced a new JV offering office furniture remanufactured by prisoners - a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to purchasing new.

Marketed under the ‘Re-Form’ brand, a wide range of reused products will now be available to existing and new customers of NOMS prison industries. Amaryllis is investing in inventory management, technical and design expertise to create ready access to a range of surplus items held in stores at HMP Kirkham in Lancashire.
Items are condition-scored and catalogued to create a stock inventory, before being marketed, either in their current state or renovated to an ‘as new’ condition by prisoners at Kirkham. As many of the desks in stock consist of larger L-shaped workstations, prison workshops are remanufacturing these items into straight desks – a more popular alternative as FMs seek to maximise valuable floor space.
In a challenging financial climate, the new venture offers an effective route to market for buyers seeking to maximise workspaces while minimising expenditure and demonstrating commitment to ‘green’ initiatives. The project also creates extra purposeful work and skills development opportunities for prisoners - a key element in the Government’s Green Paper Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders.
As demand increases, it is anticipated that workshop capacity will be expanded to other prisons. Amaryllis is also working with NOMS to develop material reclamation and recycling facilities for items that are beyond economic repair - thereby helping create further opportunities for prisoner employment.
Commenting on the new JV, David King, MBE, Chief Executive at Amaryllis said, “This new joint venture demonstrates our commitment to work in partnership with our public sector clients,” explained. “We are making a significant investment in this new initiative as it supplements our existing reuse and recycling activities.”
The new venture is not designed to replace the need for new furniture but create alternative choices for FMs, as Bill Davie, Head of Prison Industries for the National Offender Management Service, explains. “We are committed to developing our existing office furniture range and see this new venture as an additional supplement to our activities. Prisons should be places of work, where prisoners learn skills that will contribute towards their employment upon release so they do not return to crime. The creation of the Re-Form brand adds to our portfolio and offers cost-saving and environmental benefits to customers.”
The Ministry of Justice awarded Amaryllis a national framework agreement to supply space planning, furniture delivery, furniture installation, removals and storage services in March 2010. As part of the contract, Amaryllis works with NOMS prison industries to support the Newgate furniture brand. Under the supervision of prison industries managers and workshop instructors, prisoners produce and assemble the Newgate range of furniture including desks, chairs and filing cabinets. All departments within the Ministry of Justice are encouraged to procure Newgate Furniture to support the programme.
Amaryllis is a leader in the reuse and recycling of furniture and equipment having established a dedicated, specialist operation handling over 10,000 tonnes of items as far back as 2005. The company has received considerable acclaim for its activities having been a finalist at the PFM Awards in 2005 for ‘Partners in Sustainability’ with the Department for Work and Pensions and winners again in 2008 with British Airways.

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