A project which has been helping provide free or low cost furniture in Corby for more than 20 years is set to close.
Manager Andy Spalding said Corby Furniture Turnaround Project will be closing in the coming weeks as they have been unable to secure the funding they need to continue.
He says it is due to cutbacks and an increase in other charities and community groups seeking funding from the same sources as them.
Andy said: “We have been going for 22 years and in the last two years we have seen a massive decrease in grant funding to the point where we can’t continue to be sustainable.” The group was set up by a group of volunteers on the Kingswood estate who saw a need for a service providing low cost furniture in the area.
As well as helping people in need of items for their homes, there was lots of support from people across the town wanting to donate furniture.
The group went on to successfully secure Lottery funding and since then, Andy said more than 100 tonnes of furniture has gone out and thousands of households have benefited from the service.
Another success has been the number of volunteers going to them for work placements and securing employment afterwards, with 151 people getting full-time work because of their time at the project.
But none of this would have been possible without the people of Corby who have been donating items since day one.
Andy said: “We have always been appreciative of the donations we receive.
“This town is fantastic for donating and the quality of the stuff is very good, it always has been and still is.
“The van is always out on the road collecting and delivering five days a week.”
In the early days, almost all of the furniture was given out for free before a system was set up where some people got it for free depending on their circumstances and others would pay towards it.
Andy said they were due to close on Friday (March 31) but Corby Council has given them an extension for the building they rent from them to try and clear all the items they have.
He added: “It’s very sad for everybody here because it’s a way of life, it’s nice to be able to do a job where you can see you are helping people, it makes you feel as if you are doing something worthwhile.
“But we have to be realistic, when we started up there were 11 furniture projects in the county and after we go there’s going to be four, it’s a big difference.”
Andy said they are open Monday to Friday, but people can ring ahead if they want to pop down and see what’s available in the closing down sale at their premises in South Folds Road on the Oakley Hay industrial estate in Corby.
And he added: “Some brand new beds went out this week, it’s amazing what you get.”
For more details call 01536 402181 or search for Corby Corby Furniture Turnaround Project on Facebook.
Here’s part of the closing down message posted on their page: “We would like to thank the amazing people of Corby for their continued support over the last 20 years and all the past and present volunteers, trainees, committee members and trustees who gave there time to our organisation, you all are what makes this town so special and unique as far as we are concerned, without all you folks out there we couldn’t have operated as long and as successfully as we have over the last 20 years.
“We ask that if you are able to support us in any way over the coming weeks then please do as we as an organisation need to make sure we clear the existing outgoings we have outstanding, we have always believed in doing things to the best of our ability and even in these tough times our mantra remains the same.
“Once again we thank you amazing folk of the Corby borough and all the external funders that have supported us over the years.”