Newbury Community Resource Centre
The Newbury Community Resource Centre Ltd (NCRC) is a registered charity with three working names – The Community Furniture Project (Newbury), The Community Furniture Project (Basingstoke) and the Community Re-Use Centre. All three projects having a proven track record in recycling good quality second-hand furniture, electrical goods and other household items to local families in need. The Community Furniture Project (Newbury) was established in 1997 by Berkshire Women’s Aid. The project was then legally transferred to the NCRC in December 2000 with a new Board of Trustees. There are currently eight people on the Board made up of local residents: a housing specialist, a bank manager, training professional, two volunteers, a local councillor and accountant, and a retired prominent businessman. Two of our trustees are also service users.
In September 2005, the Community Re-use Centre was opened at The Slater Centre, Greenham Business Park. Project Manager Joe Mackay says: “We currently have around 60 volunteers on our books at The Community Re-Use Centre and our volunteers come from all sections of the community. They include those returning to and trying to find work and find that volunteering gives them a ‘daily work routine’. They may also have difficulty entering further education and would benefit from an informal learning experience which we can offer through our accredited training.” The training is offered to all our volunteers through the National Open College Network (NOCN) in practical skills including furniture repair, woodwork and warehousing. We also offer training in areas such as Literacy, Numeracy, Form Filling and Budget and Money Management
Joe says: “We have a close working relationship with West Berkshire Mencap here at the Slater Centre and our other partnership project Growing2gether – a horticultural therapy project at a former nursery at Cottismore which the Trust bought for us. “Additionally we also have many volunteers with learning difficulties and/or mental health issues. Volunteering with our project offers them a role in an environment which they feel worthwhile and they can then gain confidence from their volunteering. “We also have students from local schools and training organisations volunteering with us for work experience. In addition we have trainee police officers volunteering with us as part of their community placements.” The ‘core’ group of full-time volunteers, however, is made up of people who have retired and would still like to remain active and contribute to the community. One of these retired volunteers is Allister McIntosh. Allister is 73 years of age and has volunteered 5 days per week since 2005. “Allister’s main role is to assist the customers with sales etc but he supports the project in many other ways such as attending functions/conferences, making lunches for volunteers and transporting other volunteers-especially those who live in isolated rural areas. Allister recently took a week off on holiday and it is then that you can actually appreciate how valuable his input is in his contribution to the project,” added Joe. Find out more at http://www.cfpnewbury.org. Watch a video about the Community Furniture Project Find out more about Growing2gether