Hundreds raised for south Shropshire charity at garden event

Hundreds of pounds has been raised for a south Shropshire charity and potential new regular donors found, thanks to an annual garden event.

The small garden event in Ludlow earlier this month collected £600 for The Furniture Scheme and organisers said it helped raise the profile of the charity too – with people interested in joining the Friends scheme.

James Cooper, operations manager for the Furniture Scheme based at Rockspring Community Centre, Sandford Road, said he was very pleased with the event.

A garden open to the public for the annual garden event at South Shropshire Furniture Scheme

A garden open to the public for the annual garden event at South Shropshire Furniture Scheme

“We had 18 people open their gardens to the public and, after expenses, raised £600 for the charity to help people in need in our community. There were a few people who expressed an interest in our Friends of the Furniture Scheme too, they took leaflets and the bonus will be if we’ve gained some new Friends through the event. This will help us in our efforts to secure the charity for the future as well.”

Organisers said more than 200 people visited on what turned out to be a lovely sunny day. Last year 12 gardens opened to the public but this year this event was extended with stalls, a display of local artists’ work at Rockspring and local sculptors’ work displayed in some of the gardens. There was also a variety of stalls along the route and a party atmosphere with a jazz band and vintage cocktails.

James said the event was a good advert for the charity too. “A lot of people asked what it was The Furniture Scheme did and we were able to talk to a lot of new faces and explain our aims.

“We have a small staff team and hundreds of volunteers who help us offer training and work placements to those seeking to increase their skills and experience. We receive fantastic support. People help us in all sorts of ways through donating furniture, equipment, books; buying in our shops; volunteering and fundraising.”

“In recognition of this we launched the Friends of the Furniture Scheme in December, where people are able to give us an annual donation, and we always use events like the small garden one to appeal for more people to become Friends, because more support would help us meet the increasing needs of our community.”

The Furniture Scheme has been supporting people in need in South Shropshire for more than 22 years. The charity was initially formed to address growing concerns about the amount of waste going to landfill. It recycles or repairs donated furniture and household goods before passing them on to those in need or selling them to raise much needed funds at one of their shops.

The Furniture Scheme runs the Warehouse on Weeping Cross Lane and Renaissance on Tower Street in Ludlow. They also work at the Charity Bookshop and CasCA in Craven Arms. For more information on becoming a Friend of the Furniture Scheme contact James Cooper on 01584 874922 or by email.