Hastings Furniture Service (HFS) has temporarily relocated to Hastings town centre, writes Rachel Holtom. It is in the former Top Shop premises opposite the cricketer statue in Priory Meadow while the old Dorset Place store is being repainted and, according to Marketing Officer, Debbie Thomas, it has resulted in a 63% increase in trade. 

HFS was set up 31 years ago when a vicar noticed that some of his parishioners lacked essential basic furniture. The charity has grown to become a vibrant organisation delivering 300 tons of revamped furniture a year to more than 4,000 low-income families. 

They have a ‘workshop on wheels’ going around Hastings and Rother delivering advice to groups such as women’s refuges and residential homes for adults with learning disabilities. Topics include painting furniture and basic carpentry and HFS also teach basic household skills: how to change a plug or fit a fire alarm. Starter furnishing packs are provided to families who, through flood, fire or homelessness, are starting from scratch.

The charity has received help from local businesses such as Thomas Design and Graphics and Martel Colour Prints. As well as the exciting new-look premises in Hastings, HFS has taken over a store in Western Road, Bexhill. This store specialises in vinyl records, so go along to snap up a bargain. HFS is a brilliant example of a local business with sustainability at its heart – recycling old furniture, helping needy families and teaching basic skills, as well as giving opportunities to countless volunteers.

The extra trade means the current team of volunteers is really stretched and Debbie says they urgently need more volunteers. Call them on 01424 441112

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