Please support Refurnish: Mill Street (next to Morrisons), Crediton, EX17 1EY

12 June 2019

Refurnish Devon's Chief Executive David Banks appeals for your continuing support as they confront the challenge of funding cuts:

'Refurnish has been supporting community sector furniture reuse projects for the last 20 years and we are extremely grateful for support in the form  of reuse credits from a joint fund from the County Council, the District Councils and Devon Unitary Authorities .

Reuse credits are paid to community sector projects which are members of the national Reuse Network, or Refurnish Devon, at £62 per tonne for items of furniture which are diverted from waste. Without this funding we would not have been able to develop and sustain projects throughout Devon where local people can have their unwanted household items collected for free and then made available in our shops. People donating have often already tried to sell their items on Facebook or Gumtree and have been turned down by the larger national charities, so we are the last resort before turning to more expensive wasteful options.

We are a charity selling household goods with cheaper prices to people with low income. Customers often feedback how much they appreciate the service such as this one: "Everything I have in my flat came from Refurnish in Newton Abbot just over three years ago. The quality is amazing and the drivers that delivered it were very helpful"

This activity creates in excess of 50 paid jobs and 200 volunteer placements each year for people that need meaningful activity in a safe and caring environment, for many volunteering is lifeline, helping people to develop greater self-esteem, less social isolation and for some is a stepping stone into work. This volunteer summed up his experience: "volunteering got me back into the routine of going to work and communicating with people and gave me a real sense of achievement. It was a real confidence booster".

Unfortunately, the joint council group are proposing to cease paying reuse credits and divert this money to other waste initiatives in the near future. For the sector to continue we will have to try and find alternative funding or face the prospect of struggling to break even each year and we are committed to continuing to provide a service. We are so much more than just a second hand shop, collectively providing more than 1000 tonnes of reusable furniture (77,00O items +) to more than 25,000 households in Devon, each year. We provide more than 70,000 square feet of sales space across the county where people can access a wide range of affordable items.

This change risks some projects closing or drastically reducing resources and hence services. Meanwhile we would Iike to thank all of you that support our service and hope that you will continue to do so by donating good qualify reusable items and reducing waste by visiting our shops and buying reusable items and reducing the amount of goods going to waste.' Find out more about Refurnish here.