Furniture Scheme News! 2013 Sept /Oct/Nov 2013
The Bookshop at the Renaissance Centre on Tower Street is having a busy Summer. During recent weeks the sharp rise in visitors flocking to Ludlow has helped boost sales considerably at the Furniture Scheme but the shelves are starting to look a little bare.The charity is now keen for the public to help by donating quality books that they no longer want or need.
James Cooper, Furniture Scheme General Manager explains ‘the money raised by our bookshop, which specialises in rare books, helps us to provide our subsidised services across South Shropshire. These include free training opportunities, low cost furniture and community activity. The recent busy spell has been great but now we need to restock with some quality donations’.
The public can drop off their donations at any Furniture Scheme site or if they have a larger donation a collection can be arranged by phoning 01584 877788.
In the later stages of recovering from a stress related mental illness, I decided to look for voluntary work, to assist in helping me integrate socially and support me in returning to a working environment. A close neighbour of mine was a volunteer and recommended the experience. A quick Google on the Internet followed by a phone call soon gave me an interview with Chris Christie, the volunteer recruiter. After an enjoyable interview I was offered two activities. Monday working at the Furniture Warehouse and Tuesday mornings at the Furniture Workshop.
Working at the Warehouse with a good team involved going out in the van to collect and distribute furniture as required. It gave my self-esteem a great boost to be out mixing with the general public, and my physical fitness improved also with the lifting and carrying aspect of the work.
Working in the Workshop was my favourite option though, as it gave me the opportunity to revisit my love of making and repairing things made from wood. Skills in renovation were imparted as and when required, along with using specialist machinery and tools. I was in heaven, and it gave me such a sense of well-being and satisfaction. A mug of tea, a chat with lots of banter, a purposeful working environment, and like minded people became instrumental in facilitating a significant part of my recovery process.
I have for the time being moved onto an opportunity to work outside temporarily, but I will return to help out in future. I can only speak highly of the organisation and the work it does for the community. It helped me enormously in overcoming some psychological hurdles, and I will be forever grateful for that.
I began volunteering with the Furniture Scheme two years ago when my son went off to University and I felt that I needed something to fill some time and give me a bit of a boost! I started out in the Carpentry Workshop where I soon learned new skills and felt like part of the team, enjoying the banter and meeting new people whilst also building my confidence.
Then Chris suggested I volunteer in the Admin department at the Renaissance centre, which I also enjoyed, seeing the organisation from another point of view, realising how vital different funding was, and meeting all the team there. Since I had not worked in an office since before having my children I was very nervous, but everyone was so helpful, and so appreciative of any attempt to lighten their workload, so I was able to gain valuable up to date office experience, and build up my confidence enough to do some casual work for Sure Start, some of which was at their Children’s Centre in Rockspring Community Centre, so you can imagine then that I was very excited when a part time post came up as Receptionist / Administration Assistant at Rockspring. Having volunteered for the Furniture Scheme, I knew I fully supported It’s aims, and think they are summed up so well in It’s statement ‘Value in everything especially people’ – isn’t that great?
I did not really think I would get the job but felt I had to have a try, and was over the moon when I was offered it! So now I am meeting (and hopefully helping!) staff and visitors at Rockspring. (Also I am still volunteering down at Friar’s Walk!)
So I can thoroughly recommend volunteering at the Furniture Scheme, it will boost your confidence and maybe even open new windows for you! Just have a chat with Chris Christie, she really is very easy to talk to!
South Shropshire Furniture Scheme is something to me that I feel very proud to be part of.
When I first joined the scheme a few months back my confidence was very low and I didn’t think that I had much going for me but SSFS changed that.
I first started volunteering in carpentry which was brilliant. I found out that I had skills that I didn’t know I had.
Once my confidence started to grow I asked if I could do more and started to volunteer in the shop which I really enjoy working on the desk serving customers and booking deliveries.
After I’d been in the shop a few weeks a Saturday position became available and that sounded good so I went for it and a few days later I was contacted to say that I’d got the job and it was brilliant news.
I also go out on the vans during the week and I’ve got to say its brilliant to work with such a brilliant group of lads and the feeling you get when you know that the customers are pleased and knowing you have done a good job is great – like I said, being part of something that gives so much back to the community
I’d recommend volunteering with South Shropshire Furniture Scheme to everyone.
I have been volunteering for the Furniture Scheme for just over a year, partly as a means of returning to health after several years out of the system following injury and illness.
In that time I have joined in with lots of things, and met and got to know many people who have shared their knowledge, and educated, entertained and befriended me with good humour, compassion, and generosity of spirit, members of staff and volunteers alike. I have done my best to contribute because this is an atmosphere of sharing and appreciation. I have even been known to make the tea!
This is social capital in action, where finite resources are made to reach a long way by the multiplying effect of goodwill, for the ultimate benefit of many.
I believe there are many hidden benefits which arise, as well as the obvious one of providing furniture to people in need. For example, the pleasant thought of joining the Rockspring gardeners, the Thursday Rockspring lunch, or going to the furniture repair workshop behind the Mascall Centre, and the routine of getting on my bike to do these things have helped me to keep motivated all year, and my long term depression under control. This is really the best medicine you can get, in my opinion, and came to fruition fully recently when I managed to get the part time job Graham told me about at Rickards.
I would like to finish by thanking you all for your encouragement and support, too many to list, and I might omit some by mistake, but you all know who you are, and finally to say that I look forward to continuing to volunteer with you in between other commitments if that is O.K.
Following the recent additions of South Shropshire Furniture Scheme and Reviive to The Wrekin Housing Group, we are pleased to show you the new skills and services the new partnerships bring to the organisation.
Consisting of The Wrekin Housing Trust, Choices and Shropshire Housing Alliance together with new partners Reviive and South Shropshire Furniture Scheme, The Wrekin Housing Group can provide a variety of different services and support to people across Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire and Staffordshire.