Who we are and what we do
About Hope City Furniture
Hope City Furniture is run by husband and wife team, Richard and Fiona Fraser.
From Humble Beginnings…
In January 2018 we started sourcing free furniture from places like Gumtree, Freecycle and Facebook in response to the recognised need amongst refugees, who after receiving leave to remain in the UK, were moving into houses that were completely empty without the means to furnish them themselves. We started out with what we had at the time which was basically our W-reg Toyota Corolla and our garage.
We operated in this way for around eight months and as the demand for furniture continued to increase so too did the pressure of only having our car (which was also used for school runs, shopping trips and other normal family usage) and our garage!
Finally, in August 2018 a wonderful breakthrough came when we were given a Fiat Scudo van and a shipping container from the Hope Centre (City Church Derby) who were no longer using them. This was a huge relief and a massive encouragement to us and also enabled us to operate a lot more efficiently. Along with the van and shipping container the Hope Centre also introduced us to the many agencies that refer people to them as the organisation that was now providing furniture. It was also at this time that we began the process of registering this work, which we now called Hope City Furniture, with the Charities Commission. This process was completed in December 2018 when Hope City Furniture was officially registered as a charity.
The charity has continued to grow as we network with many other agencies and organisations in Derby who are offering assistance to people in crisis.
Who we help?
Furnishing New Beginnings – our vision is to come alongside and assist/support those who have been rehoused due to experiencing a specific or unexpected crisis in their lives and who find themselves having to furnish a new home from scratch without the means to do so. During 2019 Hope City Furniture received 100 referrals from various organisations working across Derby. Over 600 items of furniture were given away to people from over 20 nationalities. Of the referrals we received 31% were women and families rehoused due to Domestic Violence, 20% were Refugees, 19% were Homeless, 6% were Financial Crisis (not long term), 3% were Substance Misuse, and 1% Prison Release. Other referrals included families rehoused to different sized properties, individuals with mental health issues, and victims of human trafficking.
Beyond Furniture Provision...
Most of the people referred to us have experienced trauma and have been through crisis of one kind or another. Most are lonely and isolated. Our passion is not just to provide furniture but also to build community, especially amongst those who are socially marginalised. Our aim is to support people and walk alongside them on their journey towards healing and wholeness. We partner with a number of different organisations across Derby to achieve this.
We also have a vision to set up a furniture restoration workshop where we can support volunteer workers by giving them opportunities to learn new skills. In order for these visions to become reality we are currently looking for a building to house the charity.
Many people have been blessed
“On a number of occasions we have been able to make referrals to Hope City Furniture who have acted quickly and facilitated houses to become homes. For those we work with this is life changing.”