Head Office 01584 877788
Navigate this website

Volunteers at Shropshire charity thanked with BBQ

More than 30 volunteers have been thanked for their dedication and commitment to a charity in South Shropshire.

The Furniture Scheme, based in Ludlow, hosted a barbeque to thank it’s loyal volunteers for the work they do.

The event took place at the charity’s base Rockspring Community Centre, in Sandford Road. It saw volunteers from the centre joined by those who help in the warehouse on Weeping Cross Lane, the carpentry workshop, Renaissance shop in Tower Street, as well as those at Craven Arms Community Centre and The Charity Bookshop in Newington Way, Craven Arms.

James Cooper, operations manager at The Furniture Scheme, said: “It was one of the hottest days of the year and everyone had a great time.

“Our caretaker Rob Gardner kindly cooked all the food with the help of volunteers.

“We wanted to say a big thank you to all of our volunteers and this barbeque was a small token of our thanks.

“The Furniture Scheme’s ongoing success would not be possible without the volunteers. I am amazed by their passion and commitment and so thankful for their ongoing support.”

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.

The charity has grown and now offers computer courses, carpentry workshops and volunteering in the garden, among other things across the six sites.

Anyone who would like more information about The Furniture Scheme should call 01584 874922, email info@furniturescheme.co.uk or visit http://www.furniturescheme.co.uk.

South Shropshire charity makes cry for help as rubbish is dumped on site

A charity in South Shropshire is temporarily suspending all collections of donations as it struggles to cope with rubbish dumped on its doorstep.

The Furniture Scheme, in Ludlow, restores and resells unwanted furniture and offers a free collection service, but in recent months items which should be taken to the tip have instead been dumped by their door.

Staff say the problem has increased ‘out of all proportion’ in the last few months and dedicated volunteers are becoming increasing stressed about keeping on top of it.

Chief executive Jean Jarvis MBE said: “We’ve always been so grateful to the local public for their donations of unwanted household items which we use to help people in need.

“We’ve been struggling to keep up with the increase of uncontrolled deliveries to our premises but we’ve reached breaking point and this is a cry for help.

“A once a month community skip would help, as would fencing and gating our yard because, as a charity, we can’t afford the fencing and gates needed to control the site.

“We’ve contacted the local council to start the process of helping us solve what has become a very real problem to us.”
Jean said the problem started when the civic amenity site in Coder Road, Ludlow, closed in 2014, since then there has been a steady increase in items being left outside either out of hours or when the team are dealing with customers.

“Over the last few month this has increased out of all proportion and people are dumping trailer and van loads of household items that cannot be recycled repaired or reused,” she added.

“Staff and volunteers are now spending a lot of time sorting and processing what they can and driving the rest to the waste centre at Craven Arms.

“There is a huge cost and time implication to this, besides the stressful conditions that staff and volunteers are now under as they try to deal with this alongside their normal roles.”
The charity, which was launched over 20 years ago to benefit some of the most excluded members of the community, is now getting complaints from neighbours because the yard at the back of the warehouse on Weeping Cross Lane is unsightly as staff and volunteers struggle to keep it clear and tidy under the pressure of this increased demand.
As a result, the charity is suspending all collections – other than those already booked in – through July to deal with this problem.

When they restart the free collection service they will only collect items that can be reused or repaired.

Shropshire Councillor Vivienne Parry, for Ludlow South, is fully supporting the charity and will spearhead a campaign to help improve the situation.
She said: “The Furniture Scheme does some wonderful work in Ludlow and the people of this town are at the heart of what they do. It is a shame some people feel they can treat the site as a dumping ground, this greatly hampers the work they do.

“I would call upon these people to use the designated recycling centre in Craven Arms and think before they either donate items or leave items outside the charity. I do appreciate that sometimes people do not have the money or the transport to dispose of it properly and I am going to talk to the council and see if they can put a skip out occasionally and try to get the leader of the Council Peter Nutting to come down to Ludlow and see the problem.

“It is terrible the way Shropshire Council has dumped everything in people’s laps.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer or answer this cry for help, or for more information about The Furniture Scheme, should call 01584 874922, email info@furniturescheme.co.uk or visit http://www.furniturescheme.co.uk.

Charity stalwart honoured by mayor for work in Ludlow


Front left to right: James Cooper (Operations Manager), Jean Jarvis MBE (Chief Executive), Terry Round (Volunteer), Diane Hyde (Volunteer Co-ordinator), behind left to right: Graham Lambourn (Carpentry Volunteer Support Worker) and Stefan Laird (Carpentry Workshop Supervisor)

A charity stalwart from south Shropshire has been honoured by the mayor of Ludlow for the work he does in the community.Terry Round, 75, of Ludlow, has been a volunteer at The Furniture Scheme for 12 years and spends most of his time in the charity’s workshop in Friars Walk. He will have stripped, polished and painted hundreds of pieces of furniture over the years – and now he has been presented with a Civic Award to say thank you for his hard work.

But modest Terry said he just does it because he enjoys it.
“I was gobsmacked when I was given the award, I thought it was just a meeting,” he said.
“It was unexpected, I like to stick to the background and just take it as it comes. I don’t see what I do as anything special, I am here because I enjoy it and the people and I get to share lots of skills and teach people them as well.

“It gets me out of the house, I don’t want to just do jigsaws and read books. I am just another volunteer.”

Terry was handed the Civic Award at the Ludlow Mayor Making Ceremony at Ludlow Assembly Rooms on Wednesday night (May 23).
The father of three moved to Ludlow 15 years ago. He has been a decorator all his life, working in the industry from when he left school to when he retired at the age of 66.
In his career he has decorated Bromsgrove Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital – and since joining The Furniture Scheme he has decorated the Renaissance store in Tower Street and the offices at Rockspring Community Centre in Sandford Road, inside and out.

Di Hyde, Volunteer Coordinator at The Furniture Scheme, said Terry was an integral part of the charity.
She said: “We are thrilled that Terry was chosen by the mayor Tim Gill as a recipient of the Civic Award.
“Terry is invaluable to our charity, his contribution is second to none. He spends most of his days in our carpentry workshop and is always willing to give his time to restore and upcycle donated furniture to an extremely high standard. He makes a huge difference not only to our charity and the work we do, but in turn to the people of Ludlow, he is an excellent mentor teaching less able volunteers new skills, creates beautiful pieces of furniture for their homes and this helps to raise much needed funds to support disadvantaged families in the town. He deserves this recognition and celebration.”

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 – but the charity has grown and now offers computer courses, carpentry workshops and volunteering in the garden, among other things.

Anyone who would like more information about The Furniture Scheme should call 01584 874922, email info@furniturescheme.co.uk or visit http://www.furniturescheme.co.uk.


New face at Ludlow charity

A charity in Ludlow has a new member of staff who will be getting to know the people of south Shropshire over the coming months.

Justin Griffiths – Community Engagement Worker

Justin Griffiths has started as the community engagement and volunteer support worker for The Furniture Scheme this week.

Justin replaces Chris Perkins, who has retired, and will be responsible for looking after and attracting new volunteers of all ages for the charity’s shops, warehouse, community centres and a variety of other roles.

He said: “I am very excited about this new challenge.

“I have worked with charities, but this is a new role for me and I am looking forward to getting stuck in.

“I have also volunteered at charities before and I know what it is like to be a volunteer and I can bring that experience to this role and relate to the people I work with.

“There are volunteering opportunities for people of all ages, sometimes people may think it is not for them and then really enjoy it once they start.

“I look forward to meeting all our current volunteers and will be doing my best to meet many people across South Shropshire and recruit more volunteers of all ages to our bases in both Ludlow and Craven Arms.”

Justin will be based at Rockspring Community Centre in Sandford Avenue, Ludlow, and will also work out of CasCA on Newington Way, Craven Arms.

Jean Jarvis MBE, chief executive of The Furniture Scheme, said: “We are delighted to welcome Justin to The Furniture Scheme family.

“We are passionate about the services we provide to the local community. We couldn’t do so much without the help of our volunteers though and they can also benefit from volunteering by gaining new skills, friends and confidence.

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

“We need people for roles like reception, helping us to set up rooms and helping to collect and deliver furniture, there are many different things to do here and we will try to match volunteers with their interests. We also offer training and learning opportunities

“Justin is hitting the ground running and I am sure will help to make a difference to a lot of people’s lives.”

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 – the charity has grown and now offers computer courses, carpentry workshops and volunteering in the garden, among other things.

Anyone who would like more information about The Furniture Scheme should call 01584 874922, or email info@furniturescheme.co.uk or visit http://www.furniturescheme.co.uk.


A Shropshire charity celebrates its achievements with local MP

A Shropshire charity has relaunched a financial fund and fundraising scheme at their annual celebration event.

The Furniture Scheme, based in Ludlow, welcomed MP Philip Dunne, Minister of State for Health, as guest speaker at the event last week (DEC 8), when a rebranded fund aimed at supporting people on low incomes to improve their job prospects was revealed.

Jean Jarvis MBE, Chief Executive of The Furniture Scheme, said the event at Craven Arms Community Centre (CasCA), in Newington Way, was a great occasion to reintroduce the Enabling Fund.

She said: “This scheme has supported more than 140 people in the south of the county since 2012 and this annual event provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate this.

“It is also the perfect way to say thank you to our volunteers for their tireless work and to remind them of the ways in which we can help them.

“We are really proud of the Enabling Fund – a project The Furniture Scheme manages on behalf of the Hall Garth Charitable Trust.

“In the past it has supported driving lessons, making it easier for people to access work, childcare and transports costs to attend an interview, work clothes trade tools, start-up costs for a new business, short-term training and educational fees and even small repairs to cars or an MoT to allow people to get back to work.

“We are looking for organisations and individuals who may be interested in supporting this work and feel able to donate to the Enabling Fund. It really can make a big difference to someone’s life.”

The fund is targeted at people living in south Shropshire, specifically in Ludlow, Craven Arms, Bishop’s Castle, Church Stretton, Cleobury Mortimer and surrounding areas. Grants of up to £500 are available but larger amounts are considered – the average grant is £250.

At the celebration event, attended by 70 people, a video about the work of The Furniture Scheme was premiered and Mr Dunne spoke about the health benefits of the work of the charity. Click here to see the film The Furniture Scheme – More than just furniture.

The Friends of the Furniture Scheme, a way to make a regular donation, was also revived.

“The Friends scheme is a way for people who want to get involved by signing up and being able to give regular donations,” Jean added.

“Regular donations are vital in allowing us to continue the work we do locally.”

The Furniture Scheme is based at Rockspring Community Centre, Sandford Road, Ludlow. For more information about the work it does or for details of how to support the Enabling Fund call 01584 874 922, email info@furniturescheme.co.uk or visit the website at www.furniturescheme.co.uk.


From one charitable donation to another

Volunteers Wendy Simpson (who also worked in the bookshop when it was run by Severn Hospice) and Terry Morton

It’s not something you hear every day – a charity in South Shropshire has handed over a cheque for more than £1,500 to another charity.

The Furniture Scheme, which supports local people in crisis or in need, has honoured its commitment to give Severn Hospice 10per cent of the first year earnings made at the charity bookshop in the Square, Craven Arms.

The former Severn Hospice shop was taken over by The Furniture Scheme in April 2016 and most volunteers stayed on.

Jean Jarvis MBE, Chief Executive of The Furniture Scheme, said they wanted to keep the goodwill of the people.

“This was a well supported shop and we were so impressed by the dedication and commitment of the local volunteers,” she said.

“The Furniture Scheme has great respect for Severn Hospice and the fantastic work it does and are glad both charities have been able to benefit from the successful year of trading under new ownership.

“We would like to thank the local people for their continued generous support and our volunteers for the hard work they do.”

The Charity Book Shop is open six days a week and has 28 volunteers.

Ms Jarvis said the book shop fits well with The Furniture Scheme ethos of reuse and recycling and complements their bookshop in Ludlow.

As part of a Christmas celebration to thank volunteers across the charity a video has been made showcasing all the hard work everyone does in all different departments of The Furniture Scheme. See the video here: The Furniture Scheme – More than just furniture

John Carberry from Severn Hospice said they were delighted to receive the donation.

He said: “When we closed the book shop in Craven Arms we know a lot of people were disappointed, so when we heard The Furniture Scheme wanted to help support us as well it was a great surprise.

“Bookworms in the town have been quietly helping us all year and we are so pleased with the money raised.

“We are very grateful for the donation and delighted to also see the people who volunteered in our shop still helping out with just the same enthusiasm.”

If you have any good quality books you would like to donate to the shop you can drop them off at the Charity Book Shop or Craven Arms Sport and Community Centre which is also managed by The Furniture Scheme.

Art exhibition pops up at south Shropshire charity shop

A charity shop in south Shropshire is to host its first ever art exhibition in the run up to Christmas.

The gallery, showcasing local artists, will be at Renaissance in Tower Street, Ludlow, from Friday November 17th.

Buscall Gallery Art Room Trust, a charity involved in Pop–Up Art Exhibitions, is teaming up with The Furniture Scheme, which owns Renaissance, to add a little colour to their shop and raise funds.

BG Art has been based in Yorkshire for five years but owner Nicola Buscall has recently moved to Shropshire.
She said: “I have worked with a range of partners staging exhibitions and running galleries in the Dales and Harrogate so I am very excited to start working in Shropshire.
“The main aim is to promote the art of professional artists, particularly that of young talented artists and also that of mature but as yet unaccepted artists, making their art accessible to the public.
“We have mainly been working in empty commercial space to keep our high streets alive but I was delighted when The Furniture Scheme said they would like to host an exhibition at their busy store.
“We volunteer our time and all profit will go to the charity to help fund the vital work they do in Ludlow and beyond.”

The Furniture Scheme supports local people in crisis or in need by selling second hand furniture, restoring donated furniture and selling books to raise funds for training programmes and starter packs for people in new houses.

Renaissance will operate as normal during the exhibition with the art complementing the furniture displays.

For further information on the project please contact Nicola on 07801 439555 or njbuscall@hotmail.co.uk.

Social enterprises celebrate national award with Shrewsbury conference

Nicky Kent, Social Enterprise Business Consultant and director of Social Heart CIC

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin has won a national award to celebrate and recognise the area as a hotspot of social enterprise.

Social Enterprise UK, the national body for social enterprises, said the area was thriving with activity as they gave it Social Enterprise Place status.

It means the county can now join a network of pioneering hotspots around the world.

Peter Holbrook, CEO at Social Enterprise UK said: “Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin fully deserve this award and I’ve been impressed by the variety of social enterprises in the area working hard to tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges such as long-term unemployment and mental health issues.”

Social Enterprises are businesses with a social or environmental mission.
Over the last 10 years many social enterprises which have had an impact around the country have started in Shropshire, including FUSE CIC, Social Heart CIC, Fordhall Farm in Market Drayton and Designs in Mind, based in Oswestry.

Jean Jarvis MBE, managing director of FUSE CIC and CEO of Ludlow-based charity The Furniture Scheme, said she was delighted with the national award.

She said: “The award aims to promote and raise awareness of these local businesses and encourage the public to buy from them.

“We are delighted to be recognised for this after a lot of hard work at all levels.
“There are some excellent community interest companies across Shropshire and Telford.”

Nicky Kent, Social Enterprise Business Consultant and director of Social Heart CIC based in Chirbury, said: “This is a fantastic award, we have been recognised as a leader in the sector.

“We have a great opportunity to unlock investment, showcase local businesses and share best practice from around the UK.”

The award will be handed over at a social enterprise summit and networking event at University Centre Shrewsbury on November 15.

From 10.30am to 3.30 guests will have a chance to listen to keynote speakers including Peter Holbrook, CEO, Social Enterprise UK, Shaun Davies, Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Dr Julian Povey from NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Judith Wester from Cedar CIC will share her social enterprise story.

Jean added: “We think it’s a must attend event for third sector, local authorities and large and small businesses.”

Tickets for the event are £10 and can be bought online at www.eventbright.co.uk.
Anyone interested in exhibiting should email Nicky Kent at socialheartcic@gmail.com.


Shropshire charity launches its first calendar

Jean Jarvis MBE, CEO

A Shropshire charity has launched a new fine art calendar – featuring a donated wooden chair.

The Furniture Scheme, based in Ludlow, commissioned local photographer Nigel Bishop who has spent months capturing images of the chair in unexpected locations across south Shropshire.

The charity, which received donations of unwanted furniture, is well known for repairing, restoring and upcycling it and sells it to raise much needed funds to help local people.

The 2018 calendar is a new way of fundraising and will be on sale this month at all Furniture Scheme outlets, Castle Bookshop in Ludlow and online at www.furniturescheme.co.uk.

Chief executive of the charity, Jean Jarvis MBE, said: “The photographs really are quite stunning.

“It features some of south Shropshire’s most beautiful locations.
“We thought producing a calendar would be a good way to highlight the work we do, to remind people throughout the year and pay tribute to our wonderful volunteers.”

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 fund work placements for the unemployed.

Furniture is restored at the carpentry workshop in Friars Walk before being sold at the Warehouse in Weeping Cross Lane or Renaissance on Tower Street.

The charity also runs Rockspring Community Centre in Ludlow and the Charity Bookshop and CasCA in Craven Arms.

Jean added: “This is the first time we have created a calendar and we look forward to seeing what people have to say.

“We hope people will buy these as gifts for Christmas and if all goes well it could become an annual publication.”

For more information about the Furniture Scheme visit the website www.furniturescheme.co.uk, call 01584 874922 or email info@furniturescheme.co.uk.

To purchase a calendar from our ebay store, please click here

Part of

Working in
partnership with