AN unloved bookcase destined for a rubbish skip has been given a new lease of life - as a plant stand.

The transformed piece of furniture has now been given pride of place in upcycler Maggie's back yard.

She took it home from a retirement home, where it was being thrown out, sanded it down, gave it a lick of paint and covered it in plants.

Her efforts have won Maggie, from Highbridge, a prize in the first Somerset Reuse Week competition run by Somerset Waste Partnership to to raise awareness of reuse as an alternative to buying new, recycling or throwing away.

The initiative saw nearly 200 people get face-to-face advice about local reuse options and throughout the week residents were asked to share their reuse success stories.

As her prize, Maggie has chosen a ‘repaired for reuse’ laptop – a prime example of reuse in action.

Maggie, a member of the Highbridge Ladies’ Shed group that regularly fixes things, said: “I try to reuse everything I can and if I can create something useful out of waste, that’s even better.

“It can take time and a bit of effort, but it’s good fun and very rewarding.”

Reuse Week activities included the Fixy van – Fixy McFixface – visiting Yeovil, Chard, Ilminster, Frome and Hemyock.

The van was promoting the repair and reuse of electricals and electronics, supporting Somerset’s Repair Café network and encouraging reuse volunteers.

Thanks to Somerset-based DonateIT, Fixy also runs a 'tech amnesty', taking donations of broken or unwanted smart tech including laptops, tablets, mobile phones, digital cameras and games consoles.

Dozens of items collected last week will be repaired and passed on to schools, community groups and people who need them, or recycled.