Perhaps more now than ever before, it’s extremely important for businesses to support their local communities. When a determined group of volunteers took on the massive task of refurbishing a community house for local people, Let Us Furnish was only too happy to help.
Neighbourhood resident Emma King was appointed the new secretary for Ty Fforest Community House in Ravenhill, Swansea, after the old volunteer committee disbanded. The building had become tired and lacklustre, but Emma and her band of fellow volunteers were determined to restore it to its former glory.
The committee members, led by chair Shani Stephens, were backed by Swansea Council in their bid to make the building the hub of the community again, serving residents from Ravenhill, Gendros, Portmead and Blaenymaes.
All living locally, the volunteers understand the community’s needs, as they have also had past experience assisting in social and community settings.
The centre will be run as a multi-purpose community hub including a cafe, a toy box scheme for disadvantaged families, adult and young people’s training courses, meeting spaces for local groups, a shop, community garden, workshops, cooking lessons and a food-share scheme.
Already up and running, in conjunction with Together Swansea, it provides food and essentials to vulnerable people who are self-isolating, furloughed, or otherwise struggling due to the current crisis.
The scheme will continue on a full-time basis in the future, when the Ty Fforest cafe will be providing “meals on wheels” to people throughout Swansea, as well as an in-house service supplied by the “Fairshare” scheme.
The building is being refurbished because the existing equipment is deemed unusable. The committee was seeking donations of tables, chairs, bean bag seats, stationery for office use, a printer, scanner, ink cartridges, paper shredders and any other useful furniture or equipment.
They reached out to Let Us Furnish to ask if we could donate any furniture. As a local business, we were quick to respond. Our representative, Teifion, answered Emma’s appeal and donated 50 sets of bedroom furniture, including high-quality beds and sofas. Emma later said they looked “amazing” in the centre’s rooms.
As a non-profit, voluntary organisation, Ty Fforest House and Swansea Resource, Reuse and Recycle Centre work to provide support for local people who are struggling to manage.
Working with food banks, churches, charities and other support organisations, they help homeless people, victims of domestic violence, family support groups, mental health organisations and the men’s refuge.
The recycling centre helps the needy by providing essential items that would otherwise be sent to landfill sites. The two organisations work side-by-side to assist wherever they can.