We were extremely saddened to see the plight of Keith on Channel 4 News last night (16 April 2014). Like thousands of others, Keith is forced to accept the charity of fabulous organisations such as The Trussell Trust.
Unfortunately, our network of over 300 furniture re-use charities is far too familiar with people living in crisis and in situations such as Keith’s.
We watched and wondered how we could help.
“We can give him a fridge…and a gas cooker”.
Oh. But he can’t afford the gas.
“We can give him furniture – a bed, a sofa”.
Oh, but he’ll have to sell them to get through the next few days and weeks.
“We can give him food too”.
Oh, but how will he cook it?
We put out a cry for help to members at 11.00 last night.
“What do YOU do that could help Keith in this type of situation and help him for the long term”?
We knew we’d be overwhelmed with the response. A couple of examples:
We will provide Keith with the furniture and other essential household goods. But we’ll support him emotionally, mentally and practically. We won’t make him dependent upon us but we’ll support him to get back on his feet. Someone similar to Keith came to us. We had two people who `befriended’ him. His kitchen was a dangerous place - we sorted out his gas and water leaks.
He didn’t have any furniture – we kitted him out with the essentials, including bedding, towels, cooking utensils.
He was suffering from depression – we supported him through this.
He was missing his appointments for cancer treatment – we kept him on track and supported him on the visits to hospital.
He was socially-isolated – we built his confidence and now he attends our choir and has made friends.
St Vincent de Paul - National
We provide a complete Emergency Furniture Pack for people in this situation, which includes a bed, sofa, wardrobe, chest drawers, bedding, curtains, microwave, kettle, toaster, crockery/cutlery. We don't do cookers but we buy new microwaves, kettles and toasters and I have been fundraising to cover these packs for the last three years from various charitable trusts. Most of whom are very supportive. So, anyone in the High Peak who finds themselves in this situation would be referred to us and we can help straight away. The Furniture Packs are given to people who are referred to us free of charge.
Glossopdale Furniture Project
For more information about the Government’s decision to scrap Local Welfare Assistance Funding that exists to help people like Keith, see FRN’s previous email:
Please sign the petition to keep it: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/63001
For futher information please contact: Helen Middleton, Furniture Re-use Network
Tel: 07726 358243