Nominated for Community spirit award
Community Furniture Aid is an award-winning volunteer-run charity in Bridgend, providing furniture packs from donations provided by the public, for those living in poverty and who might be moving on from homelessness. The packs contain everything needed to start again in a new home. Since 2014, the charity has fully furnished 400 homes, delivered part packs to another 205, and saved 250 tonnes of discarded furniture going to landfill.
Hidden poverty and homelessness are major issues across the country and a small group of individuals decided to do something about it in their area. After contacting local support agencies and the local council, the concept of a furniture "pack" was formulated, containing not just furniture, but everything that is needed to make a house a home.
The founders swapped their car for a van, and bought an old derelict church to store the donated items in. The building is being renovated, which is helping the neighbourhood, and the community has responded by donating their unwanted household items.
Over 50 agencies now use the service, including domestic abuse teams and the police, as they know that all personal information is kept confidential, and that their clients are treated with respect and dignity.
The charity works quickly, and can furnish a home for a person or family with nothing, in a matter of hours. This has a tremendous impact on helping people feel settled, rather than just ‘housed’. They have also made more than 1500 collections from houses in the last 4 years, including 60 sympathetic house clearances for bereaved families.