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Could you Volunteer

Posted on 19th October, 2017

 

Could you Volunteer?

We asked our volunteers why they volunteer and commit their time to the Scheme.   Some of our younger volunteers have developed valuable skills which have enabled them to find paid employment. It increased their self-confidence, improved their customer service skills, enabled them to gain a work based reference and add the skills gained to their CV whilst in a supportive and caring environment.

Our volunteers are all ages and come from all walks of life, some have seen the Scheme grow and develop into what it is today, whilst others are new to the Scheme or the area.   Volunteers whose family have grown and no longer need the same level of care have found volunteering at the Scheme particularly beneficial as it gave them a new focus and purpose in life.  Volunteers who are recently retired admitted that initially that they started volunteering for personal reasons to keep using their skills, meet new friends, develop new interests and give back to the community.  All our volunteers said that they gained in self-confidence and found real satisfaction in helping people from their own community. Everyone said they enjoyed volunteering and wished to carry on for as long as they were able to as age is no barrier.  No direct experience is necessary as we offer full training and travel expenses are paid.

We are a small but supportive and friendly team and will always offer help and assistance to new volunteers.

Why Volunteer

Posted on 25th July, 2017

WHY VOLUNTEER AT STEVENAGE FURNITRURE RECYCLING SCHEME?

THREE GOOD REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD!

 

  1. You can have a positive impact on your local and wider community by supporting around 5000 local residents in need of furniture.
  2.  You can help save approx. 60 tonnes of good quality furniture from going to landfill each year.
  3.  You can gain new skills and make new friends.

At Stevenage Furniture Recycling Scheme we rely heavily on volunteers and really appreciate and value the role they play in the organization. Without these volunteers this Scheme would not exist.  Our volunteers are from different backgrounds, are all ages and have different skills and abilities but all come together to make our team.

  • Are you recently retired and looking to use your considerable workplace skills and experience?
  • Are you looking to return to the workplace following a break?
  • Are you looking to enter the work force for the first time and need to gain valuable experience?

All are welcome!

We offer a wide range of opportunities for our volunteers. These include Customer Service in our shop directly helping customers, working on the van helping with the collecting and delivering of furniture, answering the telephone, emails and social media enquiries, scheduling our collections and answering general enquiries. We are always in need of help in the back ground with IT, Finance, Funding Applications and Marketing or you could become a Trustee and help shape the future of the scheme.  

Trustees with business skills are especially welcome as are those with finance and marketing experience, or those who have worked within the community. You would need to commit to a monthly meeting and be willing to assist in the day to day running of the scheme on an occasional basis.

Our Scheme is open Monday – Saturday and all we ask is for you to offer either at least 4 hours of your time per week or help on an adhoc basis if you prefer.

Travel expenses from within in the Stevenage area and lunch are paid and all training will be provided.

                                   INTERESTED?

                            contact Faye or Helen -  

                      enquires@stevenagefrs.org.uk

                                         Or

                              call 01438 362900

Please keep on Donating

Posted on 27th April, 2017

The first three months of the year have seen us very busy at the Scheme. With the help of all our donors we have collected over 15 tonnes of furniture and helped 1178 customers.  A big “Thank You” to all who have donated items and visited our shop.

Our customers come to us for a wide variety of reasons. By providing affordable, good quality furniture we support young people or families setting up home for the first time; those who are starting again following a relationship breakdown; older people downsizing or have suffered a change in circumstance; those who are moving into independent living, making the transition easier by enabling them to have a safe and secure place to live where they can feel at home straight away and those who are moving into dependant living.

By donating good quality furniture our donors have a direct impact on the lives of others. A table and chairs means families can eat together whilst a decent bed allows children a good night’s sleep improving their education and ultimately their life chances. By ensuring our furniture is affordable we can reduce the reliance on payday loans or credit agreements which impact on the level of household debt. Without the support of our donors this would not be possible.  To ensure that we can continue to provide this vital service donations of good quality items are always needed.

Finally we have received over £3000 from the Co–op Local Community Fund. This will be used to develop our website and Facebook page so that we can display items in the shop on line increasing access to our service for all Stevenage Residents.  We would like to say a huge thank you to all Co–op members for choosing us as your good cause.

Sherma Batson

Posted on 21st February, 2017

In Memory of Sherma Batson MBE, DL, CC

Sherma was a much loved member of the Stevenage and the wider Hertfordshire community and long time supporter of the Scheme. She was involved in the day to day running of the Scheme as a Manager or Chair from July 1999 to 2011 when she became the portfolio holder for Community, Health and Older People. During her time at the Scheme she developed the “open door” policy to allow all members of the local community who are on a low income or in conditions of need to access good quality affordable furniture to build a decent home.   She was instrumental  in developing the Scheme into the success it is today by allowing all members of the local community to use it,  applying for funding to ensure a free delivery and collection service and regular opening times . Her commitment to the Scheme has encouraged the development of volunteers which has resulted in people moving back into the work place and gaining important skills. Since stepping down from day to day involvement due to her other community commitments she has remained a strong champion of the Scheme, keeping the profile high in organizations at a borough and county council level. During her time as Mayor in 2014/ 2015 the Scheme was honoured to be one of her chosen charities.

Following her sad and untimely death the Scheme has gratefully received kind donations from local businesses, community organizations and individuals. In her memory these donations will be used to ensure continued success and future development of the Scheme by

  • Employing additional staff to continue to provide an excellent level of service.
  • Recruitment, training and support of volunteers.
  • To replace the existing computer system with a purpose built database.

If you would like to send a donation in her memory please contact Scheme.

Introduction to the scheme

Posted on 31st January, 2017

Stevenage Furniture Recycling Scheme registered Charity 1058584, is a local service open to all residents of Stevenage. 

Customers on a proven low income can access furniture and large electrical items at an affordable ‘handling charge’ which includes delivery, or without charge where proven necessary.

 

Customers not on a low income, general public, can also buy but at a higher price.

 

Number of individuals supported each year – around 5000

Tonnage of items redistributed each year – 65 to 70tonnes

Number of items redistributed each year – around 2500

Number of households collected from each year – around 1200

New customers on benefits registering each year – 300 to 350

 

The Object of Scheme is to provide legally compliant, good quality affordable furniture and large electrical items to residents of Stevenage who are on a proven low income or in conditions of need.

Donors tell us – It’s too good to go to landfill - I would rather help someone who needs it.

Downsizing means we can’t take all our furniture and we know that the Scheme helps people who don’t have any.

Our furniture won’t fit in the new house and we want to put it good use.

Customers say – When I had nothing this Scheme enabled me to get all the furniture I needed for my home.  Now that I can afford to replace my furniture I want to help others.

I had to downsize.  Everything I have in my new place came from here and I am so happy with it all.

It wouldn’t be possible to have the right furniture for our needs without this Scheme.

It’s so much better than I expected - I don’t know what I’d do without this place.

The staff work for the Scheme and volunteers give their time because they know that they are making a positive difference to people’s lives.

Valued for 30 years but to continue the service the Scheme needs volunteers for day to day operations, including those with professional skills, for all aspects of the work involved.  Please contact the Scheme via email: info@stevenagefrs.org.uk  or phone 01438 362900 for more information.  Thank you.