The British Heart Foundation (BHF) shops’ partnership with Newcastle University, NUSU, Northumbria University and Newcastle City Council which encouraged students to donate their unwanted items at the end of term, has proved to be a huge success and could have raised up to £87,220 for the BHF.

The profits raised will go into the fight against heart disease and help fund the BHF’s life-saving research.

For the fourth year running, BHF shops partnered with Newcastle University, NUSU, Northumbria University and Newcastle City Council to encourage students to have a clear out and donate the clothes, shoes, books, DVDs, bags and small electrical items they no longer needed at the end of the academic year, enabling the charity to recycle goods that might otherwise be wasted.  Throughout the scheme Newcastle students were incredibly supportive and made full use of the donation drop-off points.

The successful partnership has seen 3,776 bags donated to the BHF collection bins located around the Newcastle University and Northumbria University campuses, which might have raised up to £87,220 for BHF shops. The money raised from this partnership will go on to fund BHF researchers who are relentlessly working towards the fight for every heartbeat.

Aside from the students’ donations at the end of term, the Newcastle University Accommodation & Hospitality Services team worked with BHF in clearing out Richardson Road before it was demolished in July 2016. This collection took place over 11 days and was one of the biggest furniture collections collected from a University during the last six years. Almost 1,700 items were collected, raising £59,342 to the British Heart Foundation.

Cllr Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader of Newcastle City Council and Chair of the Student Forum, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response to the British Heart Foundation appeal. It shows the tremendous goodwill and generosity of the students, who study in the city; and just how well the Student Forum works in partnership for good causes across Newcastle.  The City Council provided operational and logistical support by helping to collect the full donation bags and also taking away some litter collected by the students.

“The reuse of materials and the approach towards being more environmentally friendly is a subject very close to the core values of the Council.  The money will be reinvested back into the city through vital pieces of equipment and training, which is great for the community and allows the city to grow.”

Amanda Purkiss, BHF University Account Executive, said: “We’ve been delighted with the response from Newcastle University, NUSU, Northumbria University and Newcastle City Council students and their overwhelming support. Each BHF shop needs to receive 400 bags of unwanted items a week and thanks to generous donations from the students and staff of Newcastle University, NUSU, Northumbria University and Newcastle City Council we have been able to help our shops in Newcastle.

“If any other Universities or businesses would like to work with BHF shops and provide collection facilities, it’s really easy to set this up, just get in touch by calling 0300 330 3322 or visiting https://www.bhf.org.uk/about-us/contact-us  Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer, shattering the lives of too many children, parents and grandparents – you can still join the fight for every heartbeat by having a clear out and donating your unwanted items to your local BHF shop.”

Paul Bandeen, Head of Residences, Newcastle University, said: “I’m delighted with the work that has been undertaken with the British Heart Foundation, to recycle goods and at the same time raise money for such a worthy cause is fantastic.”

Jack Taylor, President, Newcastle University Students’ Union (NUSU), said: “The collaboration between NUSU and BHF provides a great platform for students to donate their unwanted items and give something back to the wider community. We want to thank all students that donated and those organising the campaign for their hard work and we really look forward to rolling it out again.”

Damon Kent, Director of Campus Services, Northumbria University, said: “It’s great to see that the donations given by Northumbria University students have made such a fantastic contribution to the British Heart Foundation. We look forward to carrying on this positive relationship for many years to come.”