What better use for old furniture?!

EDAS Foundation, a small Birmingham based charity runs social welfare, empowerment and informal training projects across the city.

They work in Birmingham’s most deprived wards serving some of the city’s poorest and most vulnerable residents. A lot of their work is outreach where they go into the hearts of various communities. The head office is in Handsworth where they run a whole range of free projects and workshops accessed daily by the public. They have a small core team and group of volunteers working from here. Although the building is fairly large (for a small charity), it is mainly underused and previously underequipped. They rely heavily on funding and almost all of their income is spent on delivering much needed projects rather than decorating or furnishing the offices. The head office has always been ‘functional’ with a mismatch of furniture collected over the years since they started delivering services in 2001.

Runa Khanom of EDAS Foundation said:-

“Earlier this year, Shoosmiths kindly donated to us used furniture which we calculate the value of to be in excess of £15,000 if bought brand new. (Furniture and equipment donated included desks, chairs, screens, cabinets, noticeboards and a fridge). When we were initially approached by Nicola Humphries and Dawn Hiles of Shoosmiths (who had read our plea for office furniture donations on the Birmingham Voluntary Service Council’s website), we could not have expected that the donation would have been so generous. The furniture has brought new life to our administrative offices. The office desk, seating and storage mean the administrative team can better organise themselves and work in a more comfortable environment. The meeting room furniture means we are now better equipped to run team/volunteer meetings, where the whole team can sit around one table. For the first time, our senior advice worker (who regularly visits our head office) has her ‘own’ desk space. The donated furniture has given the office space a new and vibrant atmosphere – the new set-up has bought a renewed vigour to the team which will ultimately benefit the charity and the outcomes for the families we work with.

Although some of the furniture remains in storage (awaiting refurbishment work to create a ‘community hub’), even the use of a small proportion of the furniture has already allowed us to create a fully functional, well-equipped office space (and we’ve even managed to store some of our food (from our FoodBank project) in the steel cabinets allowing our volunteers to run the FoodBank in a much more organised and efficient manner).

Thank you, you’ve helped us to really improve the way we work – to better assist the vulnerable communities we serve!”


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