Resourceful volunteers

Recycling doesn’t just have to be about saving your old newspapers and tins, it can be a way of furnishing your entire home.

Gainsborough Furniture Resource Centre (GFRC) is a treasure trove of second-hand sofas, dining tables, fridges and washing machines all at minimal cost.

And with Christmas coming up, the stock is increasing all the time.

Director Mark Picksley said: “With a lot of furniture shops having offers on for Christmas delivery, we’re getting more sofas and suites in at the moment.”

“The only things we are desperate for are beds, of all sizes, and wardrobes. They are always in demand.”

GFRC was set up six years ago and is a not-for-profit organisation, so the charges for furniture are purely to cover running costs.

“The furniture we take has to be in reasonable condition and we PAT test all the electrical items to make sure they are safe,” said Mark, 36, who has worked at the centre for two years.

“Any upholstery has to have the fire safety label.”

Donations of furniture are collected for free within a radius of about 15 miles of Gainsborough, but a £3 charge is made for delivery of items.

The centre is open to all members of the public, no proof of need is required.

Mark, of Bracken Park, said: “It’s a very important service and is needed now more than ever.”

He grew up in Gainsborough and on leaving school went to work for Ping golf club manufacturers in the town.

He was a supervisor on the wood line two years ago when he decided to make a drastic change to his life and leave to take up the position at GFRC.

“It was a huge thing for me to leave there where I had a very stable job, but I wanted to come out and try to help people in the community. It isn’t all about making money.”

The centre recently received some funding from the EU social fund which has enabled it to employ apprentice Ryan McKee, 21, of Ropery Road.

The former Middlefield school pupil started in June on the year-long apprenticeship, after being a volunteer for 10 months.

He said: “I did business administration at Gainsborough college and I really enjoy working here. I manage the volunteers, helping them with delivery and collection, and I work in the office, and meet and greet customers.”

“I would like to stay on after my apprenticeship finishes.”

GFRC has nine volunteers and Mark said they have recently bought a lot of equipment so they could spruce up old furniture.

“We can refinish old furniture and repaint it to give in a new lease of life,” he said.

“By doing up furniture and selling it on we are reducing waste going to land fill and we can claim tonnage from Lincolnshire County Council for the amount we are saving from being thrown away.”

The centre is open to the public Monday to Friday 9am-3pm and Saturday 9am-12pm when furniture can be viewed and bought, in the same way you would from any shop.

For more information about donating or buying furniture, and what is stocked, go to or call 01427 238948.