Did you know that when people are housed for the first time, many will not have essential furniture such as a bed or equipment to do basic cooking? The good news is that the Furniture Project is now providing an even more comprehensive “essential service” for people to get these items than we did before COVID affected our services. We partner with agencies, organisations and individuals that support people in need in the BANES area.

We have identified a range of essential items that are needed when someone who has been homeless moves into accommodation for the first time or when a client supported by a local agency faces a crisis and has a need for household goods from a carpet to a kettle. The full details of this essential service are on our website.

Genesis Trust staff at the Furniture Project and at the Gateway Centre can also help anybody who lives in the BANES area and who is struggling financially to apply for funding for new and pre-loved items such as washing machines, beds and sofas. We welcome approaches from agencies and those supporting people in need, whether or not they have used our services before.

Sadly, however, we are not planning to re-open the physical Furniture Project shop for the foreseeable future.  Anthony, Furniture Project Manager says “I have been heartened to see how many people have asked when the shop on West Avenue in Oldfield Park will be open again. The message they all give is that they miss being able to drop in for a browse. However, retail, as we know it, is changing and running a traditional shop under the current COVID restrictions is especially challenging.”

“However, we plan to open up to the general public again by putting the Furniture Project online. Although the range of items will be limited in the early days, we intend to expand our offering over time. The current target date for going online is early 2021 and as we get near to the relaunch we will be announcing details on our website and social media. So please watch this space!”

Finally, many people will be asking about donating items to us – when will that re-start? We have current stock to get through but as soon as we are able to accept new donations we will update our website with the details of donations that we need to provide our “essential service” and then in due course our new online shop. Please email Anthony (furniture@genesistrust.org.uk) or call him (01225 421 111) for more details.