Turning houses into homes #madeinsandwell: CT Furniture has a caring business model

This week’s #madeinsandwell Monday star organisation is CT Furniture – a charity that collects, sells and delivers secondhand furniture to businesses, and to individuals on low incomes or at transitional stages in their lives.

CT Furniture encourages recycling and aims to reduce fly-tipping, by collecting donated furniture and electrical items free of charge from residents and businesses. There are three CT Furniture stores here in CT Furniture logothe West Midlands, with the Sandwell branch based on the Eclipse Trading Estate in Tipton.

According to business development assistant Laura Bennett, prices are kept affordable so that families and people on low incomes “can find items to make a house a home”.

Deliveries of purchases can also be arranged.

Laura told us how people are prioritised throughout CT Furniture, which relies on the goodwill of volunteers.

“Although we have paid full-time staff members, without our strong workforce of volunteers we would not be able to do what we do. We appreciate all of our unpaid staff for their hard work and contributions,” she said.

Inside CT Furniture's Sandwell storeFor some members of the team, volunteering for CT Furniture can be a route into paid work.

“We take on new staff all the while through our work placements schemes with local JobCentres, in the hope that we will be able to have a positive influence and help them gain some extra skills and experience to get back into paid employment,” said Laura.

“When a paid role arises with CT Furniture we encourage all volunteers and work placement team members to apply”.

CT Furniture is a division of the charity Community Transport, which since 1964 has been delivering three distinct services in the West Midlands and the northwest and northeast of England. Alongside CT Furniture it provides caring community transport and transport training.

According to Laura, CT Furniture prizes its Sandwell location.

“Sandwell has such a large and diverse community made up of many constituencies and wards, all with great transport links,” she said. “Like many other boroughs it also has good advertising opportunities through social media, which we really make the most of”.

Indeed, you can view things to buy through CT Furniture’s popular Facebook page. You can find out how to donate, volunteer, or hire a training room (in Wolverhampton) on the Sandwell page of the charity’s website.

It’s also worth remembering that CT Furniture collects unwanted office furniture free of charge, so do bear the team in mind next time you make way for new equipment.

As for the future, Laura says CT Furniture’s aims are simple:

“To try to keep doing the work we are doing and to be able to reach more people and to try to reduce the amount of furniture going to landfill,” she said.

We wish Laura and the team all the very best.

#madeinsandwell Monday is a celebration of the talent and diversity within our borough. If you’re interested in being considered for a #madeinsandwell Monday profile and having information about your organisation shared on Think Sandwell and through Twitter, read this.

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