// Lockdown Life // Lighthouse Furniture Project

Posted on the 10th July 2020

Reuse Sector’s Response to the Crisis

Lighthouse Furniture Project is a faith-based charity tucked away in a small industrial estate of Brentwood. Don’t be fooled by its location, the impact it has and has had since its creation 15 years ago is huge. Like many others, Lighthouse Furniture Project had to close its door to the public on 23 March 2020 due to the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All but three staff members were put on furlough. With Peter Everett, CEO at the helm, the charity was not going to ‘twiddle its thumbs’ through lockdown.

Local stories

Lighthouse team delivering scooterVery shortly after the beginning of lockdown, Lighthouse Furniture Project received a phone call from someone in the community to say that an elderly man was hobbling down the street. One of the team went over to see him and it transpired that the gentleman had had his mobility scooter stolen from him. It just so happened, that the charity had a scooter sitting in their warehouse and ready to use. Once they ensured he was home safe, Lighthouse Furniture Project made the necessary checks to the mobility scooter and delivered it to his door. This of course, made the world of difference to the man and his daughter has been sending Peter Everett regular photos of the scooter in situ since!

Homelessness

The charity has been running since 2005, and one of its keys activities is PAT testing electrical appliances to be given a second life. Around Christmas last year, the Reuse Network had put a call out for a university halls clearance in Wembley which Lighthouse Furniture Project quickly responded to. Little did they know then, that the under-counter fridges and small ovens they picked up would be used a few months later to help a local hotel create self-contained rooms to provide people living on the street a safe place to be during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Somewhere safe to be

Women and children fleeing domestic violence have been a repeated concern during lockdown. Thanks to a grant from the local community foundation, the Brentwood-based charity has provided around 10 people fleeing domestic violence with extra items such as sofas, crockery, chest of drawers, bed sheets and other essential items for free to make a house a home.

These are just a few examples of how Lighthouse Furniture Project has tirelessly stepped-in to support their local community and strengthened new and old partnership. Peter Everett said: “ We have done our best to take positives out this situation, and what this has led me to realise is that we must stand-up as a voice to the voiceless in the community”.

To find out more about the Lighthouse Furniture Project, please visit their website: http://www.lighthousefurniture.org/

The charity re-opened its door to the public on 15 June 2020.

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