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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.

Got a coffee table collecting dust? Or perhaps a bed in the way of turning that spare room into a home office? Well instead of the hassle of taking it to the dump or waiting on the council to come and collect, there are charities that collect furniture from your home and put t to eco-friendly use helping those in need. 

At the end of 2020, poverty figures indicated that 23 per cent of the UK population were living in poverty and furniture poverty is on the rise. 

The campaign group End Furniture Poverty estimates that 4.8 million people are living without at least one essential appliance and only two per cent of social housing comes furnished. In 2017, charity Buttle UK estimated that 400,000 children are living in such extreme poverty that they do not have a bed. 

“It’s quite horrific even in this day and age, when we go to deliver furniture we’ve seen children sleeping on cardboard on the floor,” said Marion Kenyon, chief executive of North Worcestershire re-use social enterprise NewStarts. “You think this is Britain this shouldn’t be happening. But it does happen.”

Those living in poverty are hit with the poverty premium, the extra charges researchers say are linked to life below the breadline. They can include higher energy bills because a household can’t afford to move off a pre-payment meter, paying out of pocket to replace broken white goods because they can’t afford monthly insurance, and having to rely on high-interest credit to make it through unexpected financial shocks.

When it comes to furniture, many are forced to take on hire purchases with high interest rates, said Kenyon, further widening the socio-economic divide.

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Here’s what you can do to help.

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) 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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