Sheffield based Birley Manufacturing is supporting local schools by sending MDF, chipboard and plywood offcuts to schools across the region free of charge.
The materials can then be used either for general maintenance work or for art and design and technology projects.
King Ecgbert School in Sheffield is one school to benefit from the initiative, where the materials have been used both practically and creatively, not least in the provision of essential props for the impressive productions put on by the school.
A four poster bed and backdrops for an adaptation of the Railway Children have been made from wood provided by Birley.
All year groups from year seven up to 13 have used the offcuts in Design Technology classes to produce a wide range of projects from vacuum forming moulds to pieces of furniture as part of A Level course work. Some of the donated pieces are used within the department to make extra shelves or provide additional storage.
Some of the wood has also been used in the past to make a tool cabinet which was entered in a design competition for DavyMarkham. Two students designed and built a case for housing measuring equipment, such as micrometers for apprentices at the Sheffield based engineering firm.
“The support we get from Birley in terms of materials is fantastic”, said Tim Walker, design teacher at King Ecgberts.
“You can’t really call the supplies offcuts, we often get large size pieces which are like full sheets for us. We couldn’t undertake as many projects or provide students with as many opportunities without this support from Birley Manufacturing.
“Now that we are an Academy and assisting other schools, we are able to pass on some of these supplies to our partner schools too. Newfield Secondary school has recently used Birley offcuts provided by us for a speaker project, so an even larger student community are benefitting.”
In 2009 Birley teamed up with several local waste management specialists to set up a ‘Zero to Landfill’ scheme, aimed at dramatically reducing the company’s impact on the environment. The company also work with Veolia who take smaller pieces of MDF which is passed onto a third party and composted for animal bedding.
Birley Manufacturing is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers for interior environments and rail carriage equipment and works with some of the UK’s top names, such as Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, NatWest and First Great Western Trains.