Partnership helps furnish homes and build futures

A special project to provide furniture to help some of Thirteen’s customers has just been launched.

Customer and staff outside home

14 Dec 2020

Over the coming weeks, a partnership between Thirteen and The Northern School of Art will help people across the region as they move into their new homes.

The scheme will see furniture from former student accommodation in Hartlepool given to people who might need help to get started in their homes.

Indi Hobson is the first person to have been helped by the scheme.

She recently moved into a flat in Stockton and took delivery of a range of items to help her get settled into her new home.

Indi said: “I go to college in Middlesbrough and I heard about this scheme from their welfare team who put me in touch with Thirteen.

“They asked me what I needed and gave me appliances for the kitchen including a cooker, fridge, microwave and kettle, as well as an armchair, drawers and a shelving unit.

“This is my first home and to buy everything I needed in one go would have been really expensive, so this scheme has been a great help.”

The furniture and kitchen equipment comes from the former student halls at Lime Crescent in Hartlepool, and is being donated by the Northern School of Art.

Thirteen managed Lime Crescent on behalf of the college and once the decision was taken to redevelop the building, the partners worked together to make sure that the furniture and appliances could be used again.

Michelle Walker, from Thirteen said: “We continue to manage other accommodation for students at the college and we’re really grateful that we can use these particular items for the benefit of other customers.

“Sometimes people need a few things to help them get started in their new homes, and when the college talked to us about the furniture and appliances in the student halls, we were happy to help with their re-use.

“We’ll be distributing items to some customers over the next few weeks and any furniture or appliances that can’t be re-used straight away, will be taken to our new environmental centre in Billingham where it will either be repaired and re-used or broken down for recycling.

“Alongside the furniture and appliances, we can also provide customers with advice around money matters and getting the most from benefits to help with rent and other expenses, which will provide even more support with the move-in process.”

Teresa Latcham, student services manager from The Northern School of Art, said: “I’m pleased to see the items going to help a young person set up their first home as the college is all about supporting people as they make their way in the world.

“We had 24 rooms at Lime Crescent which means we have furniture and appliances in most rooms that is too good to go to waste.

“It’s really nice to see it being used again and I hope we can help lots of other people to get a better start in their new homes.”

Re-using the furniture in this way will not only help people in communities across the region, but it will also help the environment by re-using serviceable items which might otherwise have been lost to landfill.

The upcycling department within Thirteen’s environmental centre in Billingham will receive items to be refurbished which can then be used again to help furnish people’s homes.