Necessary Furniture is a charitable organisation set up to provide furniture and household goods for the disadvantaged within the community. In addition Necessary Furniture (in partnership with the relevant agencies) provides work experience for unemployed people. A further benefit of our work is the reduction in the volume of useable furniture entering the waste-stream and ending up on landfill.
Necessary Furniture has its roots in a group drawing from the Law, the Cathedral, the Voluntary Sector and Business. Necessary Furniture has been established for 9 years in its present form having subsumed the responsibilities and the assets of the former Canterbury and District Furniture Project in 1997.
Necessary Furniture received substantial public finding for the first three years of operation. This was invaluable in kick-starting the project and allowing us to establish ourselves within the framework of the local community. Necessary Furniture is now largely self-financing. The three main sources of income are:
(a) Charges levied on clients (these have increased as funding has diminished but are still extremely moderate)
(b) Recycling credits (a set fee per kg awarded for diverting useable furniture and effects from the waste-stream).
RANGE OF GOODS
It is the policy of Necessary Furniture to receive and supply a wide range of furniture and household goods. Additionally we are part of the supply network which will refer donors and clients to the most appropriate member of the network. As well as furniture, our product range includes soft furnishings, white goods, bicycles, paint, computers, bedding, cooking utensils and tableware. Necessary Furniture does not collect or supply clothing, gas heaters, household fixtures and fittings or any item deemed hazardous or beyond repair. Necessary Furniture's vehicles are used solely for collection and deliveries and are not available for removals or any other commercial activity.
It is our over-riding intention to provide a reliable service. In order to ensure this, our main catchment area at present is the Canterbury City Council area; that is Canterbury, Herne Bay, Whitstable and surrounding villages. As confidence and capacity have increased we have extended our range from our base at Hersden to include Faversham, parts of the former Coalfields area and some work in Thanet. Referring Agencies will be kept informed of any developments. Furniture schemes currently exist in Dover and we have no intention of encroaching on their activities or undertaking work which could be most economically dealt with locally.
REFERRAL OF CLIENTS
Our policy is to serve those in greatest need. People in this category will be in receipt of benefit. However, being in receipt of benefit is not the sole or necessary criterion to become a client. Generally clients are referred to Necessary Furniture by any one of a number of agencies (e.g. Housing Departments, Cyrenians, Social Services etc.).
Clients can "self-refer" by producing evidence of being in receipt of benefit but it should be noted that when specific items of furniture are in short supply priority will be given to those clients referred by recognised agencies. On occasion when the referrer is paying, rather than the client themselves, Necessary Furniture requires a formal authorisation. Agencies can either use official Necessary Furniture referral forms or those of their own organisation.
QUALITY STANDARDS AND SCOPE OF RENOVATION WORK
It is the policy of Necessary Furniture that goods donated by the public be:
1. In good condition which a reasonable person would be content to use, or
2. Could quickly be restored to such condition, or
3. Have potential value for sale in support of our work.
Generally no charge will be made for collection of goods.
THE QUALITY STANDARD of goods supplied to clients is that they be clean and serviceable. Necessary Furniture will comply with current statutory regulations in respect of soft furnishings.
THE SERVICE STANDARD is that collections and deliveries be made within one week of acceptance.
THE NECESSARY FURNTIURE WORKSHOP undertake cleaning of upholstery, checking and minor repairs to wooden furniture in category 2 above, and more extensive work in category 3. A test area and workshop for electrical goods (cookers, fridges etc.) has been developed.
It is our policy that clients should be allowed to choose their furniture whenever possible. A display area is provided in the warehouse. Whilst no assistance can be given with personal transport it is expected that referring agencies may bring clients to Hersden or will provide them with the fare. Where this is not possible we will try to take clients' wishes into account over the telephone.
CHARGES are levied on every individual item as contribution towards delivery costs and handling charges. Prices quoted in the warehouse are inclusive of delivery where necessary. Clients wishing to transport items themselves will not receive a discount as costs across the entire range have already been averaged to iron out any anomalies. Whilst prices have risen in recent years as funding has diminished, Necessary Furniture aim to provide good quality furniture at the lowest cost and all practices are geared to this end.
FURNITURE PACKAGE CONTRACTS will be negotiated with Local Authorities wishing to rehouse tenants or those previously homeless.
Necessary Furniture is set up to welcome the contribution of volunteers. One of our key aims is to provide opportunities for those excluded from the world of work to develop their skills and to make a worthwhile contribution to the community.
Necessary Furniture is transparent in all its activities and operates an "open door" policy. Anyone wishing to visit our warehouse for a closer look at our operation is most welcome.
To arrange a visit or if supplementary information is required please telephone the Manager, Richard Caplan, on 01227 712680.
Whilst the day to day running of the project is the Manager's responsibility, strategic responsibility, policy and the overall direction of Necessary Furniture is the responsibility of the Management Committee. Anyone wishing to communicate with the Committee should address their correspondence to The Chairman.