The Furniture Project Nottinghamshire Case study
Lets learn a little more about: The Furniture Project Nottinghamshire
What do you reuse / repurpose / recycle?
We are a furniture reuse charity. We collect household furniture and household electrical items that are reusable and pass them on to people in need / who are struggling to afford to furnish their homes. Any excess stock we sell at our warehouse in Boughton and our shop in Ollerton. Items we collect include: sofas, chairs, dining tables, bedside cabinets, wardrobes, drawers, beds, cookers, fridges, freezers, kettles, microwaves, toasters, etc. As long as it can be reused we will collect it for free.
How would you describe what you do?
The Furniture Project Nottinghamshire is a Reuse Charity that collects donated furniture and household items from people living in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and some parts of Lincolnshire and passes them onto to people in need. Any excess stock is sold at our warehouse and shop to raise funds for the Project. Our warehouse and shop are open to anyone as we try and promote reuse and buying pre-loved rather then buying new. We also offer volunteering opportunities and 'community payback' placements to the Probation Service.
Our aims are:
To relieve the effects of poverty for disadvantaged people and help reduce need, hardship or distress by offering provision of subsidised furniture and other essential household items to those in need.
To promote the 3 R's (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) and reduce the amount going to landfill and thus help to protect the environment.
To offer volunteering and work placements to help people get back to paid employment or add a new dimension to the lives of those that are retired or in part time employment.
To provide "community payback" opportunities for Nottinghamshire Probabtion Service placements.
How did it start?
It all started back in 1991, when increased unemployment and a change in the Social Security benefits system, resulted in less access to grants from the Social Fund for items like household furniture, even amongst those meeting all the criteria for eligibility.
Against this background, and with growing evidence of need, staff and volunteers from the Community Development Project and Unemployed Centre, based at the Dukeries Complex, New Ollerton, embarked on a pilot furniture project (following an idea by community worker, Rosemary McDonald). Helped by the Bassetlaw Probation Service providing transport and volunteers; and with garage storage space given by Nottinghamshire Community Housing Association, the first seeds of the Furniture Project were sown. This pilot was so successful, and the demand for the service so great, that it was decided to put together a funding package for a permanent project. From these humble beginnings, the Furniture Project Nottinghamshire, has grown to be the largest furniture project in Nottinghamshire.
It now has five vans operating daily, collecting donated furniture, delivering furniture to those in need (the Project averages 10 referrals for help each day, made by over 150 agencies & organisations) and delivering surplus furniture sold to help fund the Project, throughout an area covering over 600 square miles. It also offers placements to Nottinghamshire Probation Services for those doing Community Service.
From the original one unit at Boughton Industrial Estate, the Furniture Project Nottinghamshire now occupies three units on the estate, this is our headquarters and permanent home. We also have a shop in Ollerton which acts as a flagship for the Project as it is on the main high street.
How long has it been running?
We have been going for over 27 years now
What tips do you have for other Nottinghamshire residents to help them reduce, reuse, repurpose or recycle?
- Rather than buying new why not visit a reuse charity such as ours and have a look at what we have to offer. This is a much more sustainable and cheaper way to furnish your home. Our mantra is 'Why Buy New' when you can buy 'Pre-loved'
- If you are replacing your furniture and your old items are still reusable ring your local reuse charity and donate your items rather then sending them to landfill. Remember 'another persons waste is another persons treasure'.
- Check out the internet for ideas on how to 'upcycle' your old furniture and give it a new lease of life. There are a wealth of ideas out there.
The Furniture Project website where you can find out more: www.thefurnitureproject.net