Recycling, helping those in poverty and giving free training – superb furniture and training charity
Nicky Walker from Now Charity popped into our office this morning – she told us all about Now Charity, which which I had heard of but had no idea about how much they offer in the area. It is made up of Furniture Now and Training Now, and support a huge range of people.
How it all began…
Now Charity was set up as ‘Furniture Now’ in 1994 by a man who had been to the tip and realised that lots of furniture was just dumped and went directly into landfill. Horrified by this he decided to take some of it home and repair it and paint it up in his garage. He produced some lovely bits and pieces and soon he was being asked for furniture from various local people in Newhaven. His priority was recycling and he saw a way of raising money for those living in poverty in the area.
Aims of Now Charity
The 2 main aims are to aleviate poverty and to recycle furniture and other items that would normally be thrown away. Furniture is collected from homes or offices and taken back to the stores to be sold – (they take furniture that is in reasonable condition and doesn’t need repairing, the head office is in Lewes. They get given some great furniture, perfect for a living room or bedroom, they even get kitchen units sometimes and last week they collected a garden pond!
Where is it based?
The head office is based in Lewes and they have a training centre in Eastbourne and Hailsham. There’s a collection service and they will collect any piece of furniture which should be in a reasonable condition, clean and complete – they will even pick up fridges and freezers as long as it is in a working condition, someone out there will be delighted to buy these items.
The warehouse in Eastbourne stocks the more modern bits and pieces, whereas if you are looking for vintage furniture, you’ll have to visit Lewes, keep looking as things come in all the time. The dealers pop in there too as it’s such good value!
Hailsham is home to the Training Centre, there’s an abundance of great courses to go on and as the charity has funding for the courses, there are run regularly, furniture painting to computer courses, woodwork to art – and these skills could take you to your next job!
What is your role in the organisation?
Nicky has been working with Now Charity for almost a year now, she was telling me how much she loves her job, it shows that she’s a people’s person and she loves the huge diversity of people involved.Nicky runs events, there’s a luxury golf fundraiser being help in the next couple of weeks, click here to find out more about it. There’s also a pop up shop being opened next week in Hailsham High Street with some great bargains.
What roles do your volunteers take care of?
There’s a huge range of jobs and the list is getting longer! There’s a good team in the office, lots of admin roles, there are volunteers in the warehouses, there’s a central donations team who manage the donations as they come in. A week or so ago they received almost 1000 bags of donations from Brighton University at Eastbourne. The bags consisted of all sorts of things, from duvets to books, clothing and sports equipment. All the items had to be sorted and sent to various other charities if not good for selling from Now Charity, such as some of the duvets were collected by animal charities, which make perfect insides for dog and cat beds.
Apart from the furniture and training – Now Charity runs apprenterships, many of the those coming in do work have mental health issues. The charity has good connections with the probation service, the mental health team in Eastbourne and of course the Job Centre who a wonderful support.
If you would like to get in touch with one of the team at Now Charity – have a look at their website by clicking here. Or just give them a call on 01323 887199 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org – they’d love to hear from you.