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.
by: Paul McTaggart, Greg Barradale
29 Aug 2023
Beds are among the most needed items of furniture to donate. Image:
Getting rid of old furniture is a pain. Almost as soon as you’ve caved and bought a new, arguably underpriced, mid-century modern coffee table, you realise there’s the old one needing throwing away, and the street corner seems awfully tempting. But rather than wait for the floor shop to find some customers, why not organise a charity furniture collection? That’s where any one of the UK’s charities that collect furniture can help.
Not only is it a way to prevent waste, it can be a way to help others and alleviate furniture poverty. Nationwide, 9 per cent of adults and children are in furniture poverty, living without essential items, according to campaign group End Furniture Poverty.
So if you’re looking to donate some old furniture, and want to know the practical ins and outs, we’ve got you covered.
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.
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. Look out for items that have been sun damaged or bleached, heavily scratched beyond repair or require being completely broken apart to be removed from the house.
Can I donate a sofa without a fire label?
No. It’s illegal for charities to sell upholstered furniture without the correct fire label – so make sure your sofa has one. Other upholstered furniture you might be donating includes lounge chairs and armchairs, and some beds, all of which will need fire labels to be sold.
To find the fire label, search on the external surfaces of the sofa, such as on the bottom or under cushions. It should be firmly attached.
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 British Heart Foundation (BHF) – one of the main charities that collect furniture – saves 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.
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.
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. Drivers decide based on the condition of the item whether it can be collected.
All proceeds will go to the operation of food banks, computer recycling, and a newly found debt advice service.
In West London, Trinity Homeless Projects runs charity furniture collections to stock its stores, with proceeds going towards its work ending homelessness.
Sue Ryder 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 pickup, call their national furniture line on 0333 0031883.
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.
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.
Urgent action is needed to prevent even more people being pushed into homelessness. A secure home is the first step in addressing the cruel cycle of poverty to ensure people can fulfil their potential. Join us to keep people in their homes.