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These are the charities that collect furniture from your home to help those in need

Everything you need to know about donating your old furniture to help in the fight against poverty, homelessness and landfill waste.

If you’ve upgraded your fridge, or have an old kitchen table lingering in your house, your thoughts will probably have turned to how to get rid of it. Rather than lumping it on the street or getting messed around on Facebook marketplace, why not donate your furniture? There are a host of charities that collect furniture. As well as being good for the environment, it’s a useful way to make life easier for yourself, while also addressing an important issue: furniture poverty.

Campaign group End Furniture Poverty believes the number of people living without at least one essential household appliance has risen significantly from the 4.8 million known to be living in furniture poverty pre-pandemic.

“We know from the huge increases in foodbank use that people are really struggling,” said Claire Donovan, Head of Policy, Research and Campaigns for End Furniture Poverty

“If they can’t afford food, how can they afford to replace a broken cooker? And with the increase to fuel bills and to National Insurance contributions, along with rising inflation, the need for support is urgent.”

A lack of access to furniture can bring a host of problems. People can fall into rent arrears, leading to eviction, or turn to high-cost credit, making debt problems worse. It can also have a severe impact on someone’s physical or mental wellbeing.

Here’s how you can help.

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What should I donate to charities that collect furniture? 

There are charities that collect furniture across the country who are willing to take anything in good condition. From cutlery and crockery through to white goods and larger items such as sofas and couches. Beds and clean mattresses are always in high demand though, Kenyon said.

As with all items it’s important not to waste both your time and the charity’s time with goods that have been damaged that cannot be re-used or resold. What to look out for is items that have been sun damaged or bleached, heavily scratched beyond repair or require bring completely broken apart to be removed from the house. 

Bearing in mind it is also illegal for charities to resell items that do not have the correct fire label on them, so be sure the label is intact on the furniture before making the call, unless you have proof of purchase. 

Why should I donate? 

Not only will arranging a furniture donation help provide a helping hand to those in need but you will be taking steps against climate change. 

The NewStarts project estimates in a year around 190 tonnes of furniture has been saved from slowly decaying in dumps in the Bromsgrove area, equating to around 60 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

“You’re not only helping to prevent homelessness and poverty but also climate change, so there’s a real feel good factor to it,” Kenyon added. 

On a larger scale however, The British Heart Foundation (BHF) – one of the main charities that collect furniture – has stated that they save 71,000 tonnes of items going to waste a year, including 180,000 sofas. By avoiding the landfills BHF estimates that they have been able to save 135,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere. 

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What are the charities that collect furniture I can donate to? 

There are multiple charities that collect furniture throughout the UK with a free collection service, rehoming it to a good cause. 

British Heart Foundation

You can book a free collection via the British Heart Foundation to which they are appealing for furniture, electrical items and homeware. All you have to do is see if a pickup is available via your postcode on the British Heart Foundation website here.  

Local organisations such as NewStarts

Local organisations such as NewStarts, which receives funding from Big Issue Invest, often know their local area’s needs. To donate you can either drop by the depot Monday-Friday or arrange a collection with one of their volunteers on 01527 882410. Whether or not the item will be collected will be up to the drivers discretion based upon the condition of the item. 

All proceeds will go to the operation of food banks, computer recycling, and a newly found debt advice service. The organisation looks to provide between 300-500 homes a year with refurbished free furniture. 

Sue Ryder

Sue Ryder is a charity that provides palliative care and aid to those living with a terminal illness alongside providing bereavement support to those in need. The charity will rehome all furniture except white goods as long as the furnishings are in re-saleable condition. To find out if you will be able to receive a pick up call their national furniture line on 0333 0031883.

Salvation Army 

Most Salvation Army shops will take small portable furniture items however, for the larger items such as sofas and beds specialist branches are available in the Luton and Glasgow area. Both shops have volunteers willing to come and collect larger donations within the next day.

Shelter

The homeless charity offers a free partial house clearance and will collect most good quality items for free as long as pickup falls within 25 miles of one of their branches. List of all branches can be found on their website here and proceeds go towards helping the homeless. 

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