Foundations Turns 25!
Staff and volunteers at Foundations celebrate 25 years of supporting Gateshead households
Foundations Furniture has been providing low cost and free preloved furniture and appliances to low-income households in Gateshead for a quarter of a century.
Each year, approximately 900 households receive support from Foundations to create comfortable, safe, and stable home lives during times of financial hardship. This is made possible thanks to the hundreds of households items that are donated to the charity each week by residents in and around Tyne and Wear.
Shop manager, Eric Hall, said “it is great it be able to celebrate our 25th birthday. It has been a difficult time during the periods of lockdown over the last 18 months, so to celebrate something positive like this is brilliant.”
“The work that our staff and volunteers do at Foundations is vital for many households who are struggling. We receive many comments sharing the improvements to mental health, wellbeing, even feeling more sociable and having visitors for the first time in years due to having the opportunity to turn a house into home. It relieves a lot of anxiety that people can feel about how they are going to be able to afford to furnish their homes during times of hardship”.
Foundations also provides employment support through their Foundation4Work programme. The free programme lasts for up to 12 weeks, from one day per week, and is available to any unemployed Gateshead residents.
Employment support lead, Christine Kennedy said: “We’re really pleased to be able to provide opportunities to local residents to gain work experience, either through regular volunteering or the Foundation4work programme. Thanks to funding from the Henry Smith Charity and Gateshead Council, we can also offer tailored, one to one support with job searches, confidence building for interviews, CV writing, and advice and guidance about becoming self-employed. Past participants have gone on to secure employment in a variety of roles, including at the Covid testing laboratories.”
One Foundation4work participant said “Being part of the programme, getting out and helping with a worthwhile cause, has helped me to become a much more confident person. The team are friendly, welcoming and eager to help you develop as a person. Working with them has been a highlight of my time here. I wasn’t at all confident around people or in myself beforehand, but since coming here and working with the team I’ve become much more comfortable, outgoing and decisive. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to improve not just my employability but also me personally.”
If you have any items that are in good condition and full working order that you would like to donate to the Foundations charity, each collection is free of charge in and around Tyne and Wear. You can arrange a collection by calling 0191 477 8337.
If you live in Gateshead and are struggling to afford furniture, the charity is open every weekday between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.
To find out more about volunteering and employment support, call Foundations on 07851 478548 or visit https://foundation4work.weebly.com/