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January Sales - Salvation for Flood Victims? Featured

Wednesday, 30 December 2015 14:44

It’s 4 days since the Christmas floods hit Salford.

The River Irwell burst its banks, creating a beach of mud in some parts of the city, and leaving a four inch layer of it in over 400 nearby residential properties in Lower Broughton.

You couldn’t find a mop or cleaning materials for love nor money in Salford yesterday. Today, donations are flooding in (excuse the awful pun). Much of the mud outside has now gone, but there’s an odd brown/grey covering on everything from the ground up to about a foot high on walls, railings, houses and cars.

Unfortunately, 4 days on, and some of the more vulnerable residents are still coping with filth.

Sewage-damaged furniture, carpets, laminate flooring, clothing and food line the streets of Lower Broughton – one of the most deprived areas in Salford and the country – ready for collection and disposal.

Beds have been supplied to the majority of elderly residents in sheltered housing and to those who sleep downstairs.

The need now is for other essential furniture such as sofas; something to cook on (microwave will do in the short term); and rugs (not carpets because they’ll be ripped up again in coming weeks as plaster is pulled off walls, electric sockets raised and redecoration begins) to help the rest.

Owing to the level of deprivation in this area, 90% of those affected by the floods couldn’t afford contents insurance and cannot afford to replace the damaged but essential items.

Villages, towns and cities across the north of England, parts of Scotland and Wales have been badly affected by these so-called `once-in-a-lifetime’ floods, and each area is implementing a local response. One would hope.

Local voluntary organisations, working in partnership with councils, housing associations and other agencies are co-ordinating responses without any funding at the moment.

Therefore, your help is desperately and urgently needed.

If you’re taking advantage of the winter sales, and/or getting rid of an unwanted item of furniture or an electrical appliance which you think could help someone in need, please donate it to your local furniture re-use charity. Fire safety labels are still needed on donated sofas, armchairs etc.

This is where reuse really does matter, and highlights the amazing work of the furniture re-use sector. It's unfortunate that this profile comes at the expense of significant catastrophe and individual trauma; one that we may all experience in the future.

Find your local furniture re-use charity here: or look on your council’s Bulky Waste/recycling page. 

In addition: 

York: Community Furniture Store - 01904 426444 

Selby: Community Furniture Store - 01757 291444 

Salford: Helping Hands - 0161 793 9419 

Salford: The Mustard Tree - 0161 228 7331

Salford: Emmaus - 0161 737 8279

Salford: Community Transport - 0161 736 8852

Bury: Re-build Bury - 0161 764 0444


UPDATE: At 5th January 2016


A couple of FRN member organisations have themselves been badly affected by the floods and cannot help local residents. They're waiting for their local councils to remove a lot of debris and waste so the clear-up operations can begin.


It appears there's a mixed response from councils in the affected areas. More information to follow on this but we cannot assume that people and families that have been affected are receiving the support they need. It seems implausible that there's still a shortage of food and cleaning materials in some of these areas.

Many areas and properties are still in clear-up mode. In the next few days, low-cost/FREE beds, sofas, rugs, cookers, microwaves, fridges, fridge/freezers will be urgently needed. Washing machines aren't deemed as essential emergency items at the moment, but if you've got one to give away please let your local furniture re-use charity know. Also, if you're able to give up some of your free time, many charities are in desperate need of an extra pair of hands to help deal with emergency support


Charities trying to help people are being subjected to abuse by some members of the donating public, particularly on the donation of sofas and armchairs.

One can understand the desire to help, and it is greatly appreciated, but the charities are still liable for the safety of any product passing through their hands. Trading Standards enforce the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988. Therefore, every upholstererd furniture item must carry this safety label for it to be passed on. The charity's insurance may not cover a claim if upon investigation, it could be proved the donated item was manufactured before levels of fire resistance were increased on domestic upholstered furniture. We hope you can appreciate the strict procedure the charities must apply in order provide safe products to those who have already faced one major trauma.


Helen Middleton

Market Development Manager

Furniture Re-use Network


Read 4216 times Last modified on Tuesday, 05 January 2016 12:42

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