FEATURE: Framlingham project helps people and the planet

Paul Scales, project manager of Framlingham Furniture Project ANL-150212-164612009
Paul Scales, project manager of Framlingham Furniture Project ANL-150212-164612009

When you fancy a new sofa or dining table, what do you do with the old one?

The successful Framlingham Furniture Project has been offering a solution to that waste issue for more than 20 years.

Paul Scales, project manager of Framlingham Furniture Project ANL-150212-164455009

Paul Scales, project manager of Framlingham Furniture Project ANL-150212-164455009

Established by Paul Briscoe in one of his farm barns, the furniture project is a highly praised and welcomed recycling scheme, a useful and more effective method of reusing furniture and household items. One of the aims of the project is to decrease the amount of rubbish entering landfill sites, helping to prevent the destruction of the environment.

The furniture scheme allows people to bring furniture or electrical items they don’t need anymore to a place where they can be redirected to families and people who are unable to afford such things themselves. The project’s objectives brings the community together so that they can help people who are less fortunate.

The set up is overseen by Community Action Suffolk, which was formed in April 2013 of ten Suffolk voluntary groups who agreed to join forces to become a complete charity and company. The project has two part-time staff and six volunteers that have joined the cause through CAS network. Project manager at the furniture project Paul Scales, has worked for the cause for six years. “The project seems to have taken over my life to some extent but I don’t mind, the project is for a very worthwhile cause” he said, “If people can’t afford to buy their own furniture, we can help them”.

Back in 2011 the project had a closure scare due to a lack of funds. With only six months of funding left from various local groups and councils, the project was under threat. Saved by The Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme, the project was awarded with £82,691 plus a five year contract that reaches its end this year. With discussions taking place on how to tackle operations of funding in the future, Community Action Suffolk have every intention of keeping the charity running. The generous support the scheme has received over the years has allowed the furniture project to develop and continue to help others who are less fortunate.

The project seems to have taken over my life to some extent but I don’t mind, the project is for a very worthwhile cause

Paul Scales

Figures from Community Action Suffolk’s database confirm the successful high turn over for the small charity. Over a six month period at the beginning of 2015, they’ve seen around 386 items of furniture and household goods donated to the project, and have recycled a huge 345 items to people who need them. Overall, in six months they helped 459 people.

All items collected or brought in to the furniture warehouse must comply with the necessary licence. If they do not adhere to the regulations then the item is unusable and unable to be donated. The project does not run a repair service so the item will only be taken and donated if it is in a good reusable condition.

Cookers and ovens are also accepted if they are in a clean state.

For details and how to help, visit www.communityactionsuffolk.org.uk/who-we-help/local-groups/framlingham-district-furniture-project/

Paul Scales, project manager of Framlingham Furniture Project ANL-150212-165843009

Paul Scales, project manager of Framlingham Furniture Project ANL-150212-165843009

If you wish to donate to the charity then please contact Paul Scales on 07947 555356, or email paul.scales@communityactionsuffolk.org.uk.