In 2014 I co-founded REfUSE, alongside Nikki Dravers. You can read more about our early years in this Guardian article. REfUSE is based in Chester-le-Street, in County Durham. In April 2018 we launched a creative and inclusive ‘Pay As You Feel’ community cafe on the high street. This and our other projects are supplied by our surplus warehouse where we collect around 13 tonnes of food each month that would otherwise be wasted. We also run restaurant nights, education projects, and a supported volunteering scheme. We are raising awareness and educating about the climate and ecological impact of food waste, building community and providing healthy food and good company to anyone that wants it.
We operate on a ‘Pay As You Feel’ basis: guests can pay for their meals in cash, but non-monetary donations of time or skills are just as valuable. We believe PAYF encourages us to think about the true value of food: the resources, time and energy that has gone into producing it, but also includes and empowers those who may struggle to afford food.
You can find out more about REfUSE on our website, Facebook or Instagram
The film abov about the work of REfUSE was co-written by some of our 200 volunteers, commissioned by Durham Book Festival and made by filmmaker Nick Whitworth and producer Emily Wiseman.