Cowes, Isle of Wight
What are the main objectives of your organisation?
To provide affordable furniture to those in need and the bargain hunters out there!
Accepting donations from the general public which in turn diverts items from the Isle of Wight landfill site = good for our environment
Offering volunteering opportunities and work experience to those seeking a road back to employment or the chance to feel they can give something back to their community, also providing people with a sense of purpose.
Storeroom solely makes money to cover costs, to keep its doors open to all and to ensure that those starting out in life again do not end up living in a comfortless home without the simple furnishings that can so easily be taken for granted.
What is unique about your organisation?
Storeroom has a referral system in place which enables impoverished people to benefit from further discounts on the already inexpensive furniture. Currently (Feb 2016) over 55 agencies across the Isle of Wight refer clients to Storeroom.
Storeroom commenced a range of Skills Gap Training courses (January 2014) which have been made possible through successful funding applications and Storeroom contributions.
What were the biggest challenges you had to face?
Originally Storeroom was part of another Isle of Wight charity, but when the funding cuts were put in place at the end of July 2010, it was thought Storeroom would close its doors forever. As it had taken 10 years to get Storeroom to where it was, a small group of people asked permission to take it over and carry on with this valuable service which is now a registered charity and company.
In the summer of 2013 Storeroom was able to move to more modern premises and the logistics of this were – well – challenging!
What are your biggest achievements to date?
Operating without funding after taking over a project which operated at a loss.
Forging links with local companies and charity shops to help each other to divert more items from landfill.
Working towards purchasing our premises and securing Storeroom's future.
Seeing our volunteers leave us because they have found paid work!
How do you think you have contributed to the development of the sector?
Storeroom has a reputation on the Isle of Wight for helping, where larger national charities cannot.
Storeroom works alongside Amey to deliver the Bulky Waste contract on the Isle of Wight, diverting even more items from landfill.
Other national organisations on the Isle of Wight who also collect and sell on donated furniture and household goods operate on a basis to solely make money for their charity so refuse slightly marked items which Storeroom will collect.
What are your future goals?
To continue to help people to live with dignity in a comfortably furnished home.
To continue to offer work experience and the chance for people who need it most to acquire a qualification.
To continue to have a positive impact on both customers and volunteers.
To increase our sales and tonnage, which helps us to stay open and cares for our island environment too.
To generally increase awareness of Storeroom – an island charity dedicated to helping island people.
How has the FRN helped your organisation?
FRN has a great notice board for discussions.
FRN have been there for us with advice on several issues – especially helpful when a young project.
FRN has a personal touch and offers continuity with assistance given and up to date information on changes to legislation and similar announcements.
Our listing on their site has definitely brought donations to us!
What would we do without their tonnage guides?