The second-hand furniture business has used a £10,000 grant from charitable trust Power to Change to expand its services in the community.
The Furniture Reuse Project, a community business in Plymouth which offers second-hand furniture and vital support to people across the South West, is opening a newly built coffee and advice centre to help some of the region’s most vulnerable people.
The centre was built using a £10,000 grant from charitable trust Power to Change, awarded as part of the Community Business Challenge. The programme, run by Marks & Spencer and Power to Change, supports community businesses with grants and business skills support in four key cities across England.
The Furniture Reuse Project will hold a free launch event at its Union Street store from 1pm to 4pm on Friday, 29 November where it will serve food and drink, hold a raffle draw and invite members of the community to look around its newly developed store. The shop currently provides second-hand furniture either free of charge or at heavily discounted prices.
The business has built the new coffee and advice centre in a cleared-out corner of the store, with new walls erected to create a comfortable, private space where local people can come for free advice and support.
Alison Turner, Chairperson of The Furniture Reuse Project, has extensive experience as a community worker and believes the new centre will become a vital resource for local people who need help with a wide range of issues.
Alison said: “We’re much more than just a second-hand store – we’re a community business that wants to help people in any way we can. With our location in one of the most deprived areas in the South West, we’re finding that the requests for help are growing every week. Whether it’s people who are struggling to make ends meet, access employment and housing, or deal with mental health issues, the cases that we see every day are varied and complex.
“Our new coffee and advice centre will allow us to support more people in a safe and welcoming environment. We already have a very close connection with the local community, and we hope to see as many people as possible at our grand opening event.”
Mark Gordon, Director of Communications and Partnerships at Power to Change, said: “We’ve been hugely impressed by The Furniture Reuse Project and the vital work it is doing to support people in Plymouth. It is fantastic to see the grant funding from the Community Business Challenge spent in such a worthwhile way which will truly enrich the local community. We’re delighted that our grant funding has been put to such good use and look forward to seeing how the new coffee and advice centre will make a real difference to people across the South West.”
For more information please contact:
Jonathan Bacon: Jonathan.Bacon@bjl.co.uk – 07894 613176
Laura Hunt: Laura.Hunt@bjl.co.uk – 0161 731 8141
About Power to Change: Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England. Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector is worth £1.05 billion, and comprises 7,800 community businesses across England who employ 33,600 people (Source: Community Business Market 2018).
From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received its endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015.
About The National Lottery Community Fund: We are the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people.
We are passionate about funding great ideas that matter to communities and make a difference to people’s lives. At the heart of everything we do is the belief that when people are in the lead, communities thrive. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, our funding is open to everyone. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life.