May 24 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, February 2, 2013
A major Norfolk charity has taken its first steps into Norwich with the opening of a furniture recycling scheme.
Restore, the Benjamin Foundation’s first city base, collects quality furniture and white goods to be sold to the public and, in some cases, given free to those in need.
The shop and offices in Oak Street were opened yesterday by Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk, where the charity has its roots.
As well as selling donated items, Restore will also link up with housing associations and other partners to offer reduced or free furniture to people who need it most, and house some of the charity’s other services, said chief executive Richard Draper. It will also provide volunteering and training opportunities.
“This is the culmination of a dream and a vision: the Benjamin Foundation has finally arrived in Norwich,” said Mr Draper. “This is about Norfolk helping its own.” For 18 years, the Benjamin Foundation has offered support to people dealing with problems like homelessness, bullying and abuse.
“Everyone deserves to have things around them which make them feel settled and secure. Being able to provide a newly housed individual or family with a sofa, mattress and fridge can make the difference between having a house just to exist in and a home.”
Mr Lamb said he was “an enormous fan” of the Benjamin Foundation and joked that its rapid expansion in recent years meant “Norwich now, and world domination next”.
He congratulated the charity on the opening of its third shop after Holt and Dereham. “I’m keen to support you in all that you are doing: the transformational work that you are doing for youngsters and others,” he said.
“There is no limit to your ambition and what you can achieve as an organisation.”
Restore is open 10am-4pm, Monday to Saturday.
To find out more or donate furniture, call 01603 661921.