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Sofa switching could help people in need

Published on 11 January 2016

ANYONE buying a new sofa or thinking of treating themselves to a new bed in the January sales, is being asked to consider whether their old furniture could be re-used by local families in need.

The city council’s Furniture Bank scheme collects unwanted good quality items of furniture – including bed frames, wardrobes, drawers, sofas, dining tables and chairs – and distributes them to vulnerable people who need help furnishing their homes.

Cushions, mirrors, crockery, cutlery and bed linen can also be donated, provided they are in excellent condition.

Cllr Adam Clarke, assistant city mayor with responsibility for recycling, said: "Finding new uses for older furniture is a great way of getting rid of unwanted items and affordably making a house a home.

“It makes sense for the people who use Leicester's innovative Furniture Bank and it makes sense for the environment as it diverts large items away from landfill.

“In 2015, a massive 17 tonnes of furniture was re-used as part of the Furniture Bank pilot, all of which could have been sent to landfill.

“At Christmas, and during the January sales, many homes are refreshed with new furniture so this is a good time to consider whether your unwanted furniture might be welcomed into a lower income household."

City residents wishing to donate good quality items to the Furniture Bank scheme should call 0116 454 1002.

Please note that items that are soiled, stained, ripped or badly damaged cannot be collected by the Furniture Bank scheme. Sofas or upholstered furniture without a fire label cannot be donated either. The scheme is also unable to take clothing, cookers, mattresses, electrical items or pillows.

A list of items suitable for donation, and more information about the scheme, is available on the Furniture Bank webpages. 

Donated furniture is distributed through the Community Support Grant scheme, which provides emergency food, goods or services to local people in crisis.

People in need can find out how to apply for the Community Support Grant here.