Doncaster Refurnish complete a wide range of work, collecting, restoring and selling furniture on to low income families. They run a handyman service and a women’s group with a focus on anxiety issues. They also offer training and employment to those on the margins of their local community; including rehabilitation and integration opportunities for prisoners due for release, and placements for young offenders.
Doncaster is a city that has had to deal with the aftermath of the withdrawal of heavy industry – most notably the pit closures of the 1980s. The city has a high level of child poverty and social mobility is low.
Doncaster Refurnish was set up to alleviate poverty and reduce inequalities in the Doncaster area. It collects, restores and sells furniture to low-income families offering employment and training to those on the margins of their local community. It also offers rehabilitation and integration opportunities for prisoners due for release from Hatfield Prison, as well as placements for young offenders.
It has a strong social and environmental impact through preventing furniture from going to land-fill to dealing with social issues ranging from mental health to reducing re-offending.
The unsecured loan was used to help the organisation grow and develop. The loan is being repaid through sales from furniture as well as income generated through contracts to train local people that would otherwise not get training/employment opportunities.
By accessing an unsecured loan, Doncaster Refurnish has been able to diversify the volunteering opportunities available – getting the right kind of money at the right time for the development and growth of sustainable and impactful community and social enterprises that are unable to secure support from elsewhere.
Refurnish make a real difference, diverting tonnes of reusable items from landfill, but also helping to change the lives of their volunteers and staff by believing in them and giving them opportunities. We have enjoyed watching them grow and diversify, they are a great example of what a social enterprise can achieve. Their CEO is an exemplar of a social entrepreneur.
Matt Smith, CEO – The Key Fund
Key Fund’s mission is to provide the right kind of money at the right time, supporting the development and growth of a sustainable and impactful community and social enterprises that are unable to secure support from elsewhere.