York Community Furniture Store was set up in November 1988 as a charity to recycle good second-hand furniture to households in need. It was run by the Council for Voluntary Service, until it became an independent charity in 2000. A second store was opened in Selby in 2004. The Stores were registered as separate charities and limited companies in 2006, but have the same trustee/directors.
To reduce dependence on grant-funding for running costs, the Stores are open to the general public. A two tier pricing system is used, with lower prices available to those who meet low income criteria. Some new items (beds and white goods) are also sold to ensure constant supply.
The York store has occupied various premises over the years, but since 2001 has been settled at Unit 29, The Raylor Centre, off James Street.
In 2007-9, major work was done to improve and expand the York store. The owners of the Raylor Centre upgraded the warehouse structure and the Community Furniture Store added a new mezzanine floor, stairs and lift, and later created a new reception area, offices, disability accessible toilet and small workshops. The Store was officially reopened by Hugh Bayley, MP, in September 2009 celebrating its upgrading and 21st birthday.
More recently a second unit has been rented at York to provide more workshop space for refurbishment of electrical items and storage.
In 2010, the Selby Store expanded and improved its services, by moving from Ousegate to better and larger premises with plentiful parking at Unit 2, Bawtry Road Industrial Estate. The new store opened on 29th August 2010, providing a larger range of goods, including new beds and white goods.
In November 2011, a repairs project was started offering work experience to unemployed people, repairing and up-grading furniture. In January 2015, the project took delivery of its third workshop cabin which allows dusty woodwork to be separated from refinishing and from re-upholstery. Up to March 2015, the project had already had 154 people complete over 15,000 hours on placement, and there have been nearly 100 more in 2015-16. The local Job Centre reports that we provide more work experience places than any other local organisation. We are delighted that about 70% of participants now move on to paid work or further education.
In November 2015, we opened a new Store at Scarborough.
See “Funding” for details of the support we have received which has helped make these projects possible.