Furniture free for all

Families across North Liverpool received free furniture this week thanks to a unique partnership between the Beautiful North and Bulky Bob’s.

The second annual Free For All gave away free furniture to 120 families with the Bulky Bob’s team making 115 free deliveries to hand out 281 items of furniture, ranging from settees to wardrobes, bookcases to sideboards.

Free for All was created by the Beautiful North – a group established by Liverpool City Council which brings together a wide range of public, private and voluntary sector organisations that want to deliver real change in the North Liverpool areas of Anfield, County and Kirkdale.

Families living in these wards could pick up to three items of furniture which were then delivered free by Bulky Bob’s later that same day.

One mum at the Free for All said: “My daughter’s just moved into her own place with her kiddies and she hasn’t got any furniture – now she has a wardrobe and a settee to sit on so she’s made up and it’ll really help her to settle in. Thanks to everyone here.”

While the free furniture is the big attraction, the event at the Isla Gladstone in Stanley Park included free entertainment for children with donkey rides, face painting and a children’s disco, as well as lots of information and support on housing, welfare and health issues.

Nicola Higham, Neighbourhood Project Manager  – Beautiful North for Plus Dane, said: “This is always a fantastic event which brings together lots of willing partners to help people in North Liverpool. As well as the children’s entertainment, people could have a free health check, get advice on cooking leftovers, find out information on housing and benefits issues, and enjoy some low cost tasty food cooked by the Isla Gladstone team. It was a shame it rained all day but everyone still had great fun.”
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elen White, Operations Manager for Bulky Bob’s, explained: “We really enjoy the Free for All because we know it really helps people. It’s great to see families getting a free settee or wardrobe, which is new to them, delivered to their homes and we all love to think of our preloved furniture making a difference.”

Bulky Bob’s gets its  furniture through its work with Liverpool City Council, collecting bulky household waste for free from homes across the city. The furniture is then sold at low prices at Bulky Bob’s Furniture World on London Road, or at community events around the city as part of Bulky Bob’s On the Road, or given away at events like the Free for All.

Councillor Steve Munby, Liverpool’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “The Free for All has done it again – helping lots of families with free furniture as well as offering lots of advice and support. We know families across the city are facing real hardship so events like these make a real difference to their lives.”

As well as helping families on low incomes with preloved furniture, Bulky Bob’s is also helping to reuse and recycle tonnes of furniture which could otherwise end up in landfill. Last year Bulky Bob’s diverted nearly 2,000 tonnes of waste from landfill and works closely with the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority on projects to reuse and recycle as many preloved items of furniture as possible while helping families in need.

Bulky Bob’s Crisis Furniture scheme has won two awards in the last month, the Best Community Recycling Initiative at the Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management, organised by Let’s Recycle magazine, and the Corporate Social Responsibility award at the Echo Environment Awards.

Shaun Doran, Chief Executive of FRC Group, Bulky Bob’s parent company, said: “As a charity and social business, we always aim to help as many people as we can and we are grateful to our partners at Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and the Beautiful North, for helping us to achieve that goal.”