Place Category: Retail
Our primary aim is the relief of poverty with particular focus to homeless people or those in some form of housing crisis through the provision of quality used furniture, appliances and household items to people regardless of circumstance. We also provide training, work experience and volunteering opportunities. We benefit the environment by diverting tonnes of furniture from landfill, over 350 tonnes in 2015.
Social Impact Declaration: Social-Impact-Declaration_Lighthouse-Furniture-Project.pdf
Social Impact Statements:
Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.
1) Working with those in need
In 2015 we continued with the collection, sale and refurbishment of furniture and appliances, diverting from landfill and working with long term unemployed.
We invested £20k in a new appliance workshop providing more space enabling us to refurbish more appliances and take on a trainee who has been unemployed since leaving school.
Over 47% of our customers during 2015 were on means tested benefits, or from direct referral from partners working with those in need, struggling to help themselves. We have lots of case studies and examples of very happy customers, who without our help would have been left sleeping on the floor or on a lilo, struggling to make a hot drink or cook a meal.
New partnerships include Hope and Aid Direct, a national charity based in Ingatestone, who have allowed us to access a 7.5 tonne lorry for large collections/deliveries. One example was a significant quantity of meeting room tables and chairs from Chelmsford for Brentwood Council.
We have undertaken work with Local Space, a Housing Association based in Newham moving residents out to Tilbury, Basildon and Grays due to Housing Benefit cap. Fresh Beginnings, based in Colchester, are working with Afghan translators and with refugees, and we assisted them.
2) Measures of support
Essex’s Essential Living Fund, which was launched to replace the DWP Social Fund, continued for a third year and this has proved a great success with many social benefits as well as the direct benefits to clients, 267 in 2015.
We consistently supply additional starter pack items for free to help people setting up home again, or for the first time. We are also very pleased to have been able to continue to help needy people both through our voucher scheme and by direct giving, making a real difference in 100 people’s lives. We have supplied furniture, bedding, crockery, cutlery, towels, love and understanding.
Since we started we have issued £76,725 in vouchers at our expense - £8,025 in 2015, of which £6,733 were redeemed and £16,803 free of charge. We funded and gave out 38 Christmas hampers to local families in Brentwood as nominated by Larchwood Gardens Children Centre, Homestart, and Brentwood Council Housing Needs. All thanks to help from St Paul’s Bentley, Shenfield Co-op, a council ward grant and Hope Church.
We were also able to re-home other items like nursery equipment to Moses Basket, a laptop to Hutton Community Centre, 18+ sewing machines which went to “Medical Missionary News” in Wickford and tools to “Tools with a Mission”.
A key measure of environmental performance is the diversion of goods from landfill and during the past year of operating Lighthouse enabled the reuse of 363 tonnes of furniture and white goods. This equates to a carbon saving of 1,479 tonnes much of the increase being through the reuse of large household appliances.
Over the year we made 3,578 collections, 1,936 deliveries and travelled 42,594 miles, collecting in total 10,869 items.
3) Providing work placements
During 2015 we hosted 8 long term placements for individuals referred from Job Centre Plus, enabling them to gain work experience. One subsequently joined the staff team at Brentwood and two gained full time jobs elsewhere.
We also had nine others on shorter term placements and were able to take on an apprentice in the appliance workshop, who was also long term unemployed, never having had a job since leaving school 20 months earlier.
We continued working with John Lewis, taking away sofas their customers had donated when buying new. We are also working with Chelmsford Star Co-op, with Curry’s / Dixon’s group to refurbish their customers' old appliances, to give them a new lease of life at an affordable price and similarly we have developed a partnership with Whirlpool / Indesit with other benefits.
At the start of the year the main focus at Brentwood was on the new appliance workshop. A significant investment resulted in us trebling its size giving us much more space.
During the year we attended a number of local community events to raise our profile and also assisted in clearing up after the “V festival”.
Lighthouse continued to undertake the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment collections on behalf of Brentwood Council and this has provided a ready source of appliances for repair in our workshop. We now give a six month guarantee on white goods.