Summer Autumn 2018 newsletter

Good News

In May we had a gentleman in who had been homeless for some time. He had been given somewhere to live by the council but had no furniture to put into the property. He had walked a couple of miles to reach Lighthouse and was in quite poor health. He had no money to furnish his new home and was in need of as much help as we could give him. It was a privilege for us to be able to deliver a bed, armchairs, an electric hob, a fridge, a microwave, a kettle, a lamp, chests of drawers etc and bedding. This made a tremendous difference to this needy man. Without our help his
situation would have been dire and it was good to be able to assist him at such a critical time in his life.
In early June we delivered to a lady in Basildon who, after fleeing domestic violence and having health issues had been street homeless for a few months. She managed to get a place in a local hostel, after a period she was given her home from the local council but had nothing to fill it with. We were delighted to be able to deliver her a bed, fridge and cooker and a sofa. Whilst the drivers where there, they could see that she had nowhere to store any of her limited personal possessions or clothes. As the drivers had just picked up some small bedside cabinets and a storage
cupboard they passed them on to the lady directly to help make things easier for her. She had no money and had not been with her only companion of a small dog
for several months. She is now very happy to be reunited with her much loved dog in the safety and comfort of her own home. This has made a huge impact on this lady’s life, without our help she would still be sleeping on a thin blow up mattress and sitting on the floor and not being able to cook and feed herself.
ECC produced a video on furniture re-use featuring Lighthouse, which is due to go live when they launch their new website in the autumn. Basildon Council have also had a film produced on re-use of small appliances, see the Talking Toaster  

MacMillan Coffee Morning

Friday 28th September 10.00 till 2.00 Please join us, give a donation to the wonderful work of MacMillan, have coffee and a cake and we’ll give you a 10% discount to spend at Lighthouse

People aspects
Joe Civil, Louise’s son, has joined the logistics team to
replace Colin Parson. Ann is reducing to 3 days in
September. And Janie is coming in more frequently
now.
Peter Biggs attended a 3 days training in Ipswich in
August on 18th Edition household electricals with
regards to connecting cookers and other appliances.

Water water everywhere! 

There have been problems with flooding out the back, and gutters overflowing causing water penetration inside. Investigations showed that the silt traps in the drains were full of silt and mud, and we are grateful to Anglia Water who,
following discussions, have now adopted the drains and cleared the silt. We had further problems with tree root penetration blocking drains at the end of the runs and down the side and following several visits by the contractor, Public Sewer Services, this is now clear. 

Strawberry Fair 16th June

Was a very busy event and blessed with good weather. We spoke with the new Mayor of Brentwood, Sheila Murphy who was very interested in our project and has agreed to come along at 11 a.m. to support our MacMillan Coffee morning on Friday 28th September 

Trading Trends

Q2 has been good with sales rising through May and June with sales of appliances to March in Cambs. have been complimented by a two large orders with
Basildon Council for their temporary housing unit pushing furniture sales to over £30k in June. July was quieter than expected, perhaps due to heat or the World Cup but other retailers experienced a similar 8% downturn. We have also supplied goods to CHESS, the churches night shelter and hostel in Chelmsford. Small appliance sales continue strongly reflecting the hard work we are doing with Barleylands and 4 libraries. We now have a Wivenhoe project helping as donations of small appliances grow and grow, and the possibility of St Luke’s Hospice also helping us.

Happy Birthday to Lighthouse

Lighthouse Staff and Volunteers BBQ took place on Thursday 19th July at 4pm celebrating 13 years of Lighthouse.

Re-use Conference

“Re-use Network” FRN conference main messages were about the rebranding which includes a name change or rather dropping “Furniture” from FRN, as so many projects do a lot more than just furniture. The new adaptive “Re-use Network” website, https://reuse-network.org.uk/ keeps the message simple and impactful, and new logo’s are in use. 

CHRISTIANS AGAINST POVERTY (CAP) Helen Webb from the national debt and money management organisation “Christians Against Poverty (CAP)”  https://capuk.org/ visited us in April to see firsthand what we do and was amazed at the help provided to those struggling. There is a huge amount of overlap between the organisations we both work with, and Helen was then able to speak of her experience with us at the Reuse Network conference in April where she explained that 8.3M  people are in debt in the UK, 29% of this total have experienced relationship breakdown, 35% have considered suicide, most fall behind with essential bills and 38% wait over 3 years before seeking help. Thank goodness for CAP and the network of supportive churches helping people.

Shifting Old Furniture Around (SOFA) Nicki Peck from the SOFA project at Bristol spoke about the challenges working with prisons, and those with mental health problems. Melanie Webb from Big Society Capital spoke of raising finance to expand with other speakers talking about the risks in fleet management, or operating a centre in a waste tip and all talking about the need to make full use of social media and other media methods to share about the
good work we do.

Operations

May saw the investment in 6 new PCs and June a new version of Palace to speed things up. Additional machines are being upgraded as well as three as swop out spares.

Kush has been working on new General Data Protection Policy (GDPR) resulting in our revised LFP Data Retention Policy and lots of out of date invoices and data files being disposed of appropriately, so now we are only keeping 6+1 years.

IKEA contract was signed on 1st March. We have collected lots of new appliances which has been fruitful. Mattress and soft furnishing takeback has started at IKEA and come good sales resulting. Flat pack orphan stock also available, issue here is storage while we wait for the missing box to turn up.

VOID clearance with Morgan Sindall on behalf of Basildon Council has started to bear some fruit, mostly appliances and some furniture.

The Reuse Network Audit was passed in July, with only one issue raised and a small number of minor deviations and observations. Well done everybody as the audit confirms our quality standard allowing us to be included in contract work for John Lewis, IKEA, Dunelm and others.