HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright has launch a service that will provide top-quality furniture to families who are feeling the pinch.
Mr Wright was at OFCA (Owton Fens Community Association) Furniture Services to launch a scheme that will see high-quality items, such as settees, beds, tables and chairs and white goods, provided at a low price.
The new venture took over from Settlement Furniture Services, which had to close in December 2009 because of a lack of cash.
Bosses say their service will be a godsend to thousands of residents who are having to tighten their belts in the current economic climate.
Mr Wright said: “It’s good quality stuff, so people who might not be able to afford brand-new furniture can get a good deal and excellent quality. The other great thing is that OFCA, through the money raised here, is helping to pump money back into the voluntary sector, which has recently suffered tough times, helping community causes.”
Mr Wright said the service is taking away the need to take furniture to landfill sites, helping the environment and recycling.
The association’s 10,000 sq-ft warehouse, in the former East Durham Paper Mill building, at Swales Enterprise Centre, in Hartlepool’s Moreland Street, is full of goods.
Ann Beddow, the service’s co-ordinator, said: “We hope the white goods service in particular is going to take off in a big way.
“Mr Wright was really impressed with what we do here and we are offering is an excellent service.
“It’s hard enough when you are actually in employment to be buying furniture, but lots of people are losing their jobs.
“We are providing really good quality, low-cost furniture which will be a big help to a lot of people.”
As well as working with Hartlepool Borough Council to provide white goods to residents, the initiative is working with Middlesbrough Council and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to provide furniture for homeless people.
The service, which has two staff members and two volunteers, is open from 10am-4pm from Mondays to Fridays.
Staff and volunteers can collect goods for free, though they must be re-useable.
People can also drop off their unwanted furniture and appliances.
For more information call (01429) 272272.