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Library worker starts yoga business thanks to funding

Lec taking at yoga class at CasCA

A longstanding member of staff at Craven Arms Sport and Community Centre (CASCA) is moving on – partly thanks to training she received while working here.

Alexis Seaborne, 35, of Craven Arms, started at CASCA when the library moved here from the Discovery Centre three years ago.
Before that she spent six years at the library’s former home.

She has now completed her last day with us as she moves on to be the library manager at Church Stretton Library and advance her yoga business.

Alexis has gained qualifications to teach yoga thanks to funding by Sports England and the Furniture Scheme’s Enabling Fund.

“I have always been into fitness and doing pilates and yoga at home, so it was a personal interest,” she said.

“I wanted to move forward and get training and this option came up – I was delighted to get funding from Sports England and because this is something I could offer in the community centre too, The Furniture Scheme was also able to help financially.

“I needed to make sure it was available to all people and those less able in order to qualify for the funding from the charity, it is something I was happy to do.”

Alexis has been offering two evening sessions of yoga each week and holds a class especially for people with MS too.

She will soon be running lessons for students at Westhope College and one day hopes to develop a yoga training business.

She said: “At the moment I am gaining experience which is great.

“I wouldn’t have been able to afford the training without the grant and wouldn’t have had time to do the qualification without the time I was given too, it would have just stayed a hobby.

“Being allowed to do some homework while at work was great, the Furniture Scheme has been very supportive. I have lots to be thankful for, taking me on when the library closed at the Discovery Centre, giving me the option to progress personally and listening to me when I spoke about my desire for more training.

“It is happening quicker than I thought, I am having to turn people down as I can’t take on everything.”

Alexis said her message to others would be don’t be afraid to ask for opportunities, volunteers and employees can benefit a lot from the Furniture Scheme and everything it offers.

And that is exactly the same message from Jean Jarvis, chief executive of the Furniture Scheme.

She said: “We are delighted to have been able to help Alexis in this way.
“She worked very hard here and this is just the sort of thing the Enabling Scheme is designed for, enabling people to do what they want to in their career or get them more prepared for work.

“It can also be used for situations such as when someone cannot afford childcare while they do a course or people who need a driver’s license for a job – we can fund driving lessons.

“This is one of a number of things we can do for people in the community – you don’t have to be employed here.

“We also offer a starter pack for people who are moving into a new home and don’t have anything and our warehouse full of furniture in Weeping Cross Lane, Ludlow, also offers 25per cent off for people in receipt of certain benefits.

“We are glad to be able to help so many people in south Shropshire.”

For more information about what we can do to help you take a look around this website or call 01584 874922.

Charity helps people get on their bikes

Simon Magill and Stefan Laird of the Furniture Scheme with some of the bikes that will be on sale

A charity in south Shropshire best known for furniture is getting on it’s bike. Literally.
The Warehouse on Weeping Cross Lane, Ludlow, run by the Furniture Scheme, will start selling refurbished bikes from Tuesday (August 22).

The charity has introduced the move after being donated a large amount of cycling equipment and teaming up with industry experts.

Operations manager James Cooper said: “We are delighted to be able to offer bikes for sale as well as the furniture and other goods here.

“People who need transport could pick up a very high-spec bike for not a lot of money thanks to the donations and help we’ve received.

“We’ve built up quite a collection and will have both adult and children’s bikes for sale.”

The charity has been donated parts their partners Reviive and Ludlow’s Epic cycles.
And anyone looking to buy a bike can get 10per cent off as part of an introductory offer which runs until August 31.

Members of the local community have been trained in how to construct or repair a bike from parts under the charity’s commitment to helping local people gain self esteem.

“We have seen many people learn new skills in furniture restoration as part of the work that goes on in the warehouse, now it is time to offer something new for others who may be interested,” James added.

“We have been looking to launch the bike sales for quite a while now and we are delighted that we’ve reached the stage where we can now have them on offer.

“Cycling is such a positive activity as it keeps people fit but also helps people access employment opportunities if they are without a car.

“We want those who can’t afford to buy new to be able to access good quality, refurbished bikes at affordable prices.

“Any profits will help fund the charitable work of the Furniture Scheme.”

The Furniture Scheme has been supporting people in need in South Shropshire for
more than 22 years. The charity was initially formed to address growing concerns
about the amount of waste going to landfill.

It recycles or repairs donated furniture and household goods before passing them on
to those in need or selling them to raise much needed funds at one of their shops.

As well as the Warehouse, The Furniture Scheme runs Renaissance on Tower Street, Ludlow, and the Charity Bookshop and CasCA in Craven Arms.

For more information about the furniture scheme visit the website www.furniturescheme.co.uk, call 01584 874922 or email james@furniturescheme.co.uk.

Work to improve nursery completed after £10,000 grant

Work to create a new play area for children and groups in south Shropshire has now been completed thanks to a £10,000 grant.

The Furniture Scheme, based in Ludlow, has installed the open space at CASCA (Community Arts Sports Craven Arms) Nursery – and they are now looking for more volunteers to help with the extra work.

The improvements to the site in Newington Way have been made after funding from Awards for All and everyone is delighted with the results.

Jean Jarvis, chief executive of The Furniture Scheme, said: “This money has been a huge boost, it has not only benefitted the children at the nursery but all community groups who can book to use it.

“It’s flat to ensure those less able can access it and the new flooring means it can be used throughout the year regardless of the weather.

“Since it opened we’ve seen lots of people come to use it, many for the first time.”

The work was carried out by Clean Cut Services grounds maintenance, a social enterprise which is part of FUSE Enterprise CIC – a development company which sets up its own social enterprises working to help, support and encourage growth.

Veolia also supported the project by offering a skip free of charge.

But Ms Jarvis said the success of the charity and the continuing expansion of services on offer means the charity is in need of more volunteers.

She added: “The Furniture Scheme was launched over 20 years ago as a way to ensure some of the most excluded members of the community could benefit from recycled household items – we now offer computer courses, carpentry workshops and volunteering in the garden, among other things, to help build confidence.

“Many of our volunteers come to us with low self esteem and leave a different person, ready to take on new challenges.

“It is great because people get confidence and leave us to get a job – but it means we need more volunteers.

“We need people for roles like reception and helping us to set up rooms, there are many different things to do here and we will try to suit what volunteers are interested in.

“Also we will always, where we can, put people into training and learn new skills.

“It is a good opportunity to be part of our organisation – our family.”

Anyone who would like more information about The Furniture Scheme or CASCA should call 01588 672847 or email casca@furniturescheme.co.uk or visit http://www.furniturescheme.co.uk.

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