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BBC Radio Shropshire interview

Our lovely friends at BBC Radio Shropshire came to interview Gill Pitt our Social Inclusion Manager and the team at CasCA Craven Arms.

You can listen to the interview here:


In the interview Gill talks about the future of the Library what happens at CasCA.

Thank you to BBC Radio Shropshire for sharing this interview with us.

Craig completes marathon challenge

A Shropshire man confined to a wheelchair has successfully completed five marathons in five days – raising more than £3,000 for a local charity in the process.

Craig Nicholson, 40, from Craven Arms, completed the 137 miles between Eastbourne and Poole with two friends, also in wheelchairs, and one on a bike in aid of CasCA – Community Arts Sports Craven Arms – an arm of the charity The Furniture Scheme.

He chose his local charity because it gives youngsters in the town the opportunity to play sports, receive coaching and give them the chance to take part in free activities.

“It went very well and the people along the route were absolutely marvellous. They came out with offers of free food and drink and we even had a lorry driver pay for one of our meals,” he said.

“The weather was very hot and one of our lads got a touch of sunstroke early on but he rallied and we all completed the challenge five days and five marathons later on Sandbanks Beach, Poole.

“Paul Gascoigne was there at the beach and we all had our photograph taken with him. So that was special.

“My aim was to raise about £2,500. All the money isn’t in yet but it looks like we will be over the £3,000 mark. I’m pleased with that because CasCA is something very close to my heart.”

Craig was joined on the gruelling challenge by Scott Smith and Glenn Leversage, also in wheelchairs, and Paul Rogers who completed the journey on a bicycle. Craig’s wife Cheryl was also an integral part of the support team.

“It proved a little hairy early on as we tackled the hilly section between Eastbourne and Brighton. One of the lads was coming down a hill in his chair very quickly – about 50km an hour – and was trying to slow himself down. He burnt his hands and got a few blisters. But he was ok,” added Craig.

“I’ve done a lot of things for charity but never five marathons in five days. But it was sound. A great experience and I would certainly think about doing it again. It’s a funny thing but I really missed it when we stopped doing it.”

Jean Jarvis MBE, CEO of The Furniture Scheme, which manages CasCA, said: “This was a truly amazing achievement by Craig, Scott and Glen, who I know have some great supporters. We’ve followed their progressed and are absolutely thrilled that Craig has chosen to raise funds for CasCA, we can’t thank him enough!.”

Give as you Live

Please help us raise funds for South Shropshire Furniture Scheme at no cost to you.

Give as you Live is a shopping and price comparison website with a heart. You can shop for products from thousands of leading online retailers including Amazon, Ebay, John Lewis, Debenhams, Argos etc; use the price comparison tool to ensure you get the best price and even save money by using the exclusive offers and deals available on the site.

Don’t forget, a percentage of every purchase you make will be donated to a charity of your choice.

Where does the money come from?
Like other price comparison websites, they generate money through affiliate marketing. This means that retailers pay them commission each time a sale is generated for them through the site and they pass at least 50% of this on to the charity of the supporter’s choice – hopefully South Shropshire Furniture Scheme!

Click on link: http://www.giveasyoulive.com/join/furniturescheme

The Furniture Scheme is asking for votes in the Making a Mark competition

A Shropshire charity is asking for people to vote for them after being shortlisted as one of seven finalists for a national award.

The Furniture Scheme, based in Ludlow, is in with a chance of being named the winner of the Making a Mark competition and has just three weeks to rack up votes.

The competition, which was launched last year, raises awareness of how social enterprises across the country are creating a big impact in both their own and the wider community, celebrating the wide-ranging and different benefits created by Social Enterprise Mark holders.

Voting closes at midnight on Friday, May 5, and the winner will be named at a ceremony in Winchester on June 5.

You can view each of the finalists’ social impact statements and vote online at https://www.socialenterprisemark.org.uk/making-a-mark-competition-shortlist/?platform=hootsuite#ssfs.

The other six finalists are Connection crew, Ealing Community Transport, Emmaus Cambridge, Epic CC, The Big Issue Group and Warrington Health Plus.

The Furniture Scheme charity, based in Ludlow, was launched over 20 years ago by CEO Jean Jarvis MBE as a way to ensure some of the most excluded members of the community could benefit from recycled household items.

The scheme has since expanded with various arms of the charity which offers voluntary opportunities, employment and the chance for members of the community to meet each other.

Ms Jarvis said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award and hope people will visit the Making a Mark website and vote for us.
“The public vote accounts for 50 per cent of the final result and the other 50 per cent will be decided by an independent certification panel.
“To have been shortlisted among other great companies is a real honour for us and we’re hoping we can get the votes needed, as well as impress the judges.
“Our aims are to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged people living in south Shropshire. We also provide training and volunteering opportunities for the unemployed and believe we also have a responsibility to the environment.
“We try to achieve this by encouraging reuse and recycling so people can avoid sending items to the tip.”

The Furniture Scheme has helped 40 households receive furniture referral packages worth between £550 and £1,500 each; 1,337 items were sold at a discounted rate to people on benefits; and 53 people living in social housing had the opportunity to loan garden equipment from the scheme’s community centres.

In addition, 132 young people have taken part in holiday schemes through the charity; more than 33,000 people have used its community centres and accessed community activities and services; and 120 people have completed training before going into volunteering or employment.


£10,000 scoop for South Shropshire charity

Organisers behind a South Shropshire community centre are celebrating after scooping £10,000 to create a new play area for children and groups.
The Furniture Scheme based in Ludlow has won the funding from Awards for All to pay for a new play area and open space at CASCA (Community Arts Sports Craven Arms) Nursery.
The cash boost means The Furniture Scheme will be able to replace the flooring inside the nursery room and also create a flat area which is accessible for all and can be used throughout the year regardless of the weather.
Jean Jarvis, chief executive of The Furniture Scheme, said: “This money will not only benefit the children at the nursery but will create a multi-use space for all community groups to book and enjoy.
“Disabled people will be able to access the flat area and it will be able to be used by many people.
“The floor covering and paving and a new play area will be created and work is expected to take place during the Easter school holidays when the nursery is quieter.”
Miss Jarvis said the work would be 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 have also supported the project by offering a skip free of charge during the project.
“Fresh air is vitally important for everyone to enjoy but particularly children,” Miss Jarvis added.
“Currently if it is wet outside the area is very muddy and not accessible in all weathers.
“This £10,000 Awards for All grant means we can have an all-weather multi-use area. We would welcome any enquiries from other groups which may want to book the space once it is completed.
“We look forward to seeing the children at the nursery enjoying the new space and other groups too.”
Anyone who would like more information about CASCA should call 01588 672847 or email casca@furniturescheme.co.uk

Making a Mark award

We’ve been shortlisted for the Making a Mark award! We do need votes though. You can vote via this link and check out the competition.


Following the success of the Making a Mark competition last year, which celebrated the vast impact that accredited social enterprises make through their diverse activities, Social Enterprise Mark CIC have decided to repeat the competition this year.
The Making a Mark competition highlights examples of how accredited social enterprises are creating considerable social impact within their local communities and in wider society.

Jean meets HRH The Princess Royal

Jean Jarvis MBE, CEO of The Furniture Scheme, was invited by Veolia to meet HRH The Princess Royal when she officially opened the Battlefield Energy Recovery Facility in Shrewsbury. Jean talked to Her Royal Highness about the community groups that she is involved with, including Reviive, and social enterprise in Shropshire. She says Princess Anne was relaxed, easy to talk to and knowledgeable about the variety of work that goes on in the community. HRH was presented with gifts and flowers by pupils from the local school and gave a very nice speech congratulating everyone on the great partnership between, Veolia, Shropshire Council and the Third Sector.

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