After a difficult birth and a prolonged adolescence, FurniHelp Mid Sussex has finally reached 18 years of age.
Started back in 1998, and originally based in East Grinstead, FurniHelp moved to Burgess Hill and then to the business park in Horsted Keynes, where they remain today.
Over the past 18 years the charity has helped thousands of households in need in the Mid Sussex district by providing anything from a single item such as a bed through to a flat full of furniture and other goods for those who have nothing and no money to buy anything.
In the past four years alone they have delivered to over a thousand households and demand for their services continues to increase.
Right from the beginning FurniHelp has been run entirely by volunteers and has relied on the goodwill of Mid Sussex residents who have donated almost all the household goods they have been able to give out.
They collect from around 30 households a month and this enables them to keep a stock of the most needed items in their warehouse.
Funding has always been tight and for many years they relied on small grants and charitable donations.
Thanks to two years’ support from The Henry Smith Charity they were able to put their finances on a more sustainable footing, now bolstered by funds from the West Sussex County Council Local Assistance Network.
This also enables them to buy in goods they do not have in stock.
Their volunteers are the mainstay of the charity as, without them, it simply could not function.
As the charity gets older the need for new volunteers becomes ever more pressing, especially additional trustees who can offer skills and experience in areas such as social work, finance and publicity.
Their website – www.furnihelp.co.uk – gives all their contact details for anyone who would like to talk about volunteering to help.
Meanwhile look out for their van as it tours Mid Sussex collecting and delivering household goods and be inspired to find out a bit about them.