The Sunderland Partnership

  • Over 400 partners including schools and 3rd sector
  • Combined savings of over £½ million
  • Strategic partnership between University, Municipal Council, Hospital and the Community Voluntary Service
  • 50 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill locally
  • 4500 tonnes of waste prevented in the supply chain
  • 185 tonnes of supply chain CO2 emissions avoided
  • £25,000 of asset donation to local charity
  • 100 jobs secured with savings
  • 3 direct jobs created

The Sunderland Partnership is a partnership made up of private, public and third sector organisations with a shared vision to create a better future for everyone in the City of Sunderland.

In 2010, Sunderland City Council underwent a significant restructure to completely change its ethos for service delivery that led to the closure of buildings across the city. As offices were vacated, large quantities of furniture became redundant. Rather than send these to landfill, the council signed up to the Warp It reuse scheme, which resulted in over £45,000 of cost savings in just nine months.

The Sunderland Partnership saw the opportunity and potential benefits to the wider community of the Warp It scheme to develop a sharing network, where members reduce costs and waste by swapping or loaning out resources such as office furniture, electrical goods, stationery, consumables etc.

The network includes over 300 schools, the local NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland University and 300+ Voluntary and Community Action Sunderland members.

City wide partnerships

Warp It is now operating city-wide throughout the council, hospital and university offices, schools and voluntary organisations. All staff have access to the online system through the intranet and are actively encouraged to use it for all their procurement and disposal needs.


The project has received acclaim globally being finalists in the Cities and Regions Circular Economy Awards 2015. Nationally the project won a National Compact Voice award as well as being highly commended in the hotly contested National Recycling Waste Partnership awards.

The Sunderland Partnership won an award for reducing waste by collaboration.


Partnerships and collaboration between organisations are becoming more and more important.
Talking about the award Simon Blake OBE, Chair of Compact Voice, said:

The winners demonstrate how partnerships really do make a massive difference.. and reflect the importance of partnership working in the new policy and commissioning context.


Jessica May of the Sunderland Partnership receiving a partnership award. Flanked by Simon Blake OBE Chair of Compact Awards and Gill Macdonough from Sunderland Voluntary Community Action. Daniel O’Connor from Warp it is picture far right.


Senior support

The Warp It project has been supported by the senior staff within Sunderland Council and the wider Partnership since the very beginning.

Tangible benefits

The impact of this scheme has been local, regional and national. Over 450 partners have been able to work together, building relationships and contacts that would not have normally occurred. The message is still being spread locally and the third sector continues to enthusiastically take up support of the free tool.

The Warp it scheme has been a significant success in Sunderland and has progressed well beyond our expectations. It is a fantastic example of partnership working between the public, private and third sector. Warp it reflects a core aim of the City’s partners, that is to work together to achieve something much bigger than any individual organisation ever could achieve on their own. I am convinced given its success locally that this new model of collaborative consumption will be the first of many such projects as we move to a more digitally enabled way of working in Sunderland.

Jessica May, Partnership Manager

Press coverage here


Save your seat! To join a webinar which tells you how to set up a similar system in your city or region  register here:  (If you can't attend just register and we will send you a recording)


What our customers are saying

Good way of redistributing items that are no longer needed!

Rather than throwing them away they are being used elsewhere - saving the NHS money!

Anon, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

I am all for saving the environment!

The site has saved the wards budget £££'s and the products are always here within days :-)

Jacqui Mabley, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Simple, easy and effective process!

Anon, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board