Weʼve raised £31,168 to furnish the homes of vulnerable families experiencing furniture poverty.
- London, UK
- Funded on Saturday, 12th November 2022
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Furnishing Futures is a new grassroots charitable organisation in North East London that aims to fully furnish the homes of families who are experiencing furniture poverty by using good quality items that would have gone to landfill and collecting community donations of pre-loved furniture and items for the home. We believe that by helping families create a safe and comfortable home, we can give them back their dignity and hope for the future.
What is furniture poverty?
Furniture poverty is when people do not have basic items that most of us take for granted. This includes beds, chairs and sofas etc but also flooring, curtains and white goods such as a cooker, fridge or washing machine.
Why does furniture poverty exist?
Social housing tenancies are unfurnished and often do not include flooring, curtains or white goods such as ovens and washing machines. So when a family is given a Council or housing association property, it is often completely bare and up to the family to furnish. For those on low incomes or on benefits, this is often impossible.
Many families are also living in poor quality temporary accommodation, which does not always provide basic items.
What is the impact of furniture poverty?
Families experiencing furniture poverty are more likely to be vulnerable to loan sharks and pay day loans to be able to meet their children’s basic needs. Being in furniture poverty perpetuates the cycle of poverty because without these basic items families cannot function, are more likely to get into debt and less likely to be able to hold down employment. Children cannot learn in school without a good night’s sleep in their own bed, families cannot sit down to a meal together or invite friends over if they do not have somewhere to sit. Parents cannot cook their children a meal without a cooker.
Furniture poverty is hidden behind closed doors and is becoming an increasingly widespread problem due to the impact of welfare reforms and austerity. You only need to look at the increase in homelessness and the use of food banks to see how this manifests. If you cannot afford to feed your family, how can you afford to furnish your home?
Who are Furnishing Futures?
Furnishing Futures is founded by Emily Wheeler, an interiors writer, stylist and designer who is also a registered social worker. Deeply affected by the poverty she has seen through her front line work, Emily realised that she could combine her skills and knowledge to meet the needs of families who are living without furniture.
Emily is building links with other local organisations and community groups for Furnishing Futures to work alongside, while working with a small number of families as a pilot project to develop a model of working.
How is Furnishing Futures different to other furniture projects?
Furnishing Futures is different to other furniture projects in two ways. Firstly, there is no cost to the families. Most furniture projects charge a discounted price for their items, but Emily noticed that even these low prices are out of the reach of the families she has met. Secondly, Furnishing Futures aims to work alongside each family to furnish the whole home with everything needed to live comfortably. Many charitable furniture projects are able to supply a few necessary items but this does not make a home and Emily strongly believes that creating a proper home is essential for families to have the best chance of leading full and productive lives.
What are we fundraising for?
There are some items that we cannot realistically re-use such as mattresses, some children's items and white goods as well as the logistical costs of helping families to create a safe and comfortable home. We are also fund raising so that we can secure a warehouse or premises and use of a van, so that we can support more women and children as demand for our support grows.
£10 could buy a child's bed linen set
£30 could buy a set of cooking pans for a family in need
£60 would hire a removal van to install the furniture
£80 could buy a child's single mattress
£100 would buy a double mattress
- 3 years ago
Furnishing Futures3 years ago
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This is such a great project.
Nov 2, 2022
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