A charity which works to prevent homelessness is calling for donations of unwanted furniture.

Emmaus North Staffs, which owns Emmaus Furniture Mine – the largest charity shop in the area – relies heavily on donations to their Hanley store in order to support local families and organisations.

The charity works with the most vulnerable of communities, particularly those who have been homeless, and part of that work is being able to offer discounted furniture to referral partners.

In 2019 Emmaus North Staffs received over 850 referrals from housing authorities and other charities in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme with the majority of items provided being quality beds and mattresses. Last year the charity also delivered around 1,000 beds and mattresses to referral customers – equating to 19 beds and mattresses collected for free by Emmaus North Staffs, and delivered to local families on a weekly basis.

“Donations from local people are so important to us because we get referral requests from several local housing partners for hundreds of beds and mattresses every year. The referrals we receive are critical in helping families and individuals when setting up a new home,” said John Webbe, Executive Lead of Emmaus North Staffs and manager of Emmaus Furniture Mine.

During December 2019 and January this year, the charity ran a campaign for bed and mattress donations and although this was successful more donations are continuously needed to meet demands.

john-webbe-emmaus-furniture-mine
John Webbe. Image by Toland Photography.

“Our campaign went well and we received around 30 direct campaign donations but we always need more as the majority of the referrals we receive are for families,” adds John. “So these donations, especially of single beds, are giving a local child their own bed – that’s a tremendous gift for someone to offer another family.

“The organisations we work with use the referrals process to turn a house into a home for their tenants with an aim to create a fresh start and reduce the chance of that tenancy failing and resulting in homelessness. Almost 1,000 beds and mattresses were delivered to referral customers in 2019 which is an average of 19 beds and mattresses donated to us and delivered back out again every single week of the year.”

As well as donations shop sales are also vital in enabling the work which the charity do with other organisations in offering discounted furniture and household items. The large two-storey Emmaus Furniture Mine charity store offers a range of household furniture including tables and chairs, settees, display units, clothing, brand new beds and kitchen appliances such as washing machines and fridge freezers, which are all on sale to the public.

“We have a wide range of goods which we sell in the store,” said John. “We are open to the public six days a week and we also do deliveries across North Staffs. We have all kinds of furniture and we regularly have high quality antiques donated to us. All the shop sales go straight back into the charity and this enables us to offer discounts on thousands of items of referral furniture each year.

“By local people supporting us with donations, each person is kindly enabling us to support vulnerable people and families in the many communities across North Staffordshire.”

For more information about Emmaus North Staffs and Emmaus Furniture Mine click here.