Furniture project update February 2022 – appointments closed for now:

Since re-launching in our new centre, Open Hands Furniture have been helping more families than ever before. Our van has been out making deliveries almost every day, putting your generous furniture donations to good use and helping many of the poorest in Leicester. In the past 2 months, Open Hands have delivered furniture, electrical and household items to over 50 separate households, redistributing donated furniture that has been collected from all over Leicestershire.

Since our closure period last year, and in the pursuit of fairness, we have been operating from a waiting list ordered by referral receival date. Need, however, is exceeding our current ability to meet it, and our waiting list is growing despite our best efforts.

As a result of the above situation, we are currently unable to outwork furniture appointments. We will be closing our in-house appointment service until we are able to deliver this service with the consistency that we believe is fair to our service users. We will be contacting everybody on the current waiting list to review deliverability on a case-by-case basis; and will be closing to new referrals. We will continue to strive to meet emergency need going-forward, however if the need is urgent, you may wish to explore other avenues for your referee.

It is still our desire to run this service and do all that we can to meet the need for affordable furniture in Leicester. As a result, furniture appointments will be re-launching again soon under a new system.

If you would like to get involved and see where you can volunteer, please see our volunteer vacancies page.

Thank you for your continued support.

What is the Furniture Project?

The Furniture Project was launched in January 2010 after a ‘gap’ was identified in the provision of affordable furniture items to those on low income.

The project aims to meet this need, providing reduced cost furniture to those with genuine need, operating on a referral-basis.

Referred eligible service users are invited to appointments where they have access to our catalogue of affordable and reduced cost furniture items.

The project aims to stock essential furniture and electrical items, delivering and installing where necessary in the City of Leicester. These items include beds, cabinets, sofas, dining tables and chairs, coffee tables, wardrobes, chests of drawers, fridges, freezers, washing machines and microwaves.

Donating furniture?

For info on furniture donations please see our furniture donation page.

Referring to our Furniture Project

Our furniture services are available to those in genuine need on receipt of:

  • An Open Hands referral form,
  • Means-testing documents, and,
  • A pre-arranged appointment.

Please note that we are not able to supply furniture to furnished properties including National Asylum Support Service (NASS) accommodation.

Access to the delivery address should be considered when choosing furniture items to ensure that a delivery is possible. Every service user will be required to agree and sign a copy of the charity’s delivery policy before a delivery is arranged. Please take the time to read our furniture policies before accessing our service: Service User Furniture Policy / Support Worker Furniture Policy

Due to current demand for affordable furniture, we are only able to supply a maximum of 5 items of furniture per referral.

Means-testing & payment
To ensure we prioritise those most in need we operate a means-testing procedure in which individuals are asked to provide evidence of their income, including access to any benefits they may receive.

Receipt of benefits: Those with access to benefits will be eligible to access our furniture services and will have access to our catalogue of affordable and reduced cost furniture items.
No access to public funds: For those with no recourse to public funds, we will consider each individual’s circumstances and act accordingly to meet their needs.

For those purchasing items we require cash payments on the day of the appointment. We can advise that our costs range from £5-£65 per reused item and more for graded and new items. All monies received will be reinvested into the work of Open Hands in order to enable its furniture project to continue to support those in need.

To access the furniture project
If you need help with furniture, or you know an individual or family who are in genuine need, a referral can be made by someone who knows you/the individual in need on a professional basis (such as a support worker, housing officer, child’s school teacher or doctor).

A referral form will allow an individual to access our services for 6 months whilst they are still in need. If an individual’s details or situation changes during this period we kindly ask that a new referral form is completed to enable us to update our database appropriately.

Please note that as we rely on donations we cannot guarantee that all requested items will be available.

Furniture is allocated on an appointment basis only. Once we receive a completed and signed referral form we will call your service user to arrange an appointment.

Appointments will take place at: The Open Hands Compassion Centre (19 Lower Willow Street, Leicester, LE1 2HP).