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Local social enterprise cleaning up thanks to Housing Executive

Published: Thur, 8 Feb 2018
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Rona Simmonds, GEMS graduate trainee with the Housing Executive; Alan McDowell, Director of Refresh Appliances; Owen Brady, our Area Manager and Arthur Cunningham, Director of Refresh Appliances.
Refresh appliances
A social enterprise in Newtownards is providing upcycled domestic appliances for cost-conscious families, charities and landlords across Northern Ireland.
Refresh Appliances Limited provides high-quality remanufactured domestic appliances such as washing machines, tumble dryers, fridges, freezers and cookers at affordable prices.
We provided £48,000 through our Social Housing Enterprise Programme to help the business’s continued growth and training opportunities.
The remanufactured appliances are available with a six month warranty and with free standard fitting on local deliveries.
Currently there are 11 people directly employed by Refresh Appliances with plans to increase the workforce following the funding award.
Refresh will also provide training and employment opportunities to people in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area, with capacity to train eight apprentices to ultimately offer them full-time employment within the organisation.
Alan McDowell, Director of Refresh Appliances said:
“Since 2013 we have been remanufacturing domestic appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers for environmentally-aware customers. We’ve seen a huge increase in demand from across Northern Ireland, because people know much more about the environmental damage that comes from the manufacture of a brand new machine. For anyone who wants to do their part in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, one of the best ways to do that is to buy a remanufactured machine”
Alan continued:
“As a social enterprise, we are determined to grow our business along with the local community. The availability of employment opportunities through our trainee programme will have a positive impact, not only to those seeking careers in the industry, but also to local businesses benefiting from increased wages in the area.
We are pleased the Housing Executive is helping us to reach our potential. The organisation clearly understands the role that social enterprises have within the local community.”
Paul Carland from our Social Enterprise Team added:
“It is clear from the professionalism of the business that Refresh Appliances have a long-term goal for success. We are delighted to support their plans to create opportunities for employment through their trainee development programme and to continue to help them provide a vital service for families, charities and landlords. We are confident that Refresh Appliances will continue to grow and improve the livelihoods of their customers and those seeking careers in this industry.”
There are currently a number of trainee apprenticeship programmes available through Refresh Appliances Limited. To find out more information, please contact Ian Story or Ethan O’Lone on 028 9182 1112 or