Lee Wright the manager of Essential Needs
Lee Wright the manager of Essential Needs

Essential Needs in Harrogate have their busiest time ever, highlighting furniture poverty in the town

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Essential Needs is a Harrogate charity that supports people in need of furniture and white goods. It receives donations and sells that furniture to those in need at low prices, and to the general public at higher price.

Since reopening in June they have had their busiest time ever, highlighting the issue of furniture poverty in Harrogate.

In October, they helped 46 families in need and 11 tonnes of household items were reused through them, so avoiding going to landfill.

  • Collected donations from 799 people
  • Made 573 deliveries to customers
  • Diverted 67 tonnes of household materials and 8 tonnes of electrical appliances  from landfill
  • Sold 258 sofas, 151 wardrobes, 193 chests of drawers, 176 bedside tables.
  • And sold 65 full beds, 97 frames and bases and 147 mattresses

Lee Wright the manager of Essential Needs, said:

We took the decision to close on the 23 March as some of our volunteers were becoming anxious. Many of our volunteers are over 70 so that was understandable.

We then reopened on the 1 June 2020, when not many reuse charities were opening. We felt that was the right thing to do as the demand for furniture had not gone away of course. Modifications were made to our ways of working though, with shorter opening hours and not using volunteers.

Although we are open to everyone, much of what we do is supporting people that are in need for a variety of reasons. We are seeing around 20 registrations per day from people on some form of benefits.

They aim to make things more affordable and say that they can furnish a house for around £400. Nearly all of what they sell is used, but in good condition with those registered paying a much reduced price.

They have developed ways of working with key partners and have been a beneficiary of Harrogate Street Aid project – that’s the contactless giving point near the food entrance of Marks and Spencers in town.

Lee said:

Often when people come to us they need furniture very quickly. We developed our working with the Street Aid Project where we can provide that support, but without having to wait with bidding into the funds.

We are also working with the domestic abuse charity IDAS. Where we are match funding referrals up to £200 per customer. That means they can get all they need for house for that. Also, with IDAS, we are looking at volunteering possibilities and if we can run workshops with them.

They always have a strong demand for white goods and particularly welcome donations of cookers, fridges and freezers. Due to demand, white goods are only available to those registered with them.

Lee said:

We sometimes think we could open up a shop just for sofas!

All donations are welcome, especially the electrical goods. Given the growing demand, we need to just keep that awareness going that we need and appreciate all donations, and that we are here to help people.

Anyone can browse the stock in person 9:30am to 4:00pm, Monday to Thursday.

As demand has picked up deliveries have been extended to from 3.5 days to 4.5 days per week.

Essential Needs
Back Gladstone Street
Harrogate HG2 8DF

tel: 01423 870 040

essentialneeds@gmail.com

If you have furniture to donate, please contact them, see https://essentialneeds.org.uk/


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