Upcycling, Recycling, Repurposing … Furniture and Forever Homes 
 
Furniture can have a long life, from being ‘first made’, used, then upcycled and repurposed as time goes on. 
 
This encourages sustainability, can make furniture more affordable and provides skills-based work for individuals and businesses. 
 
Recycling tables, chairs, bookcases, chests of drawers and more gives furniture a new lease of life. 
 
This also prevents fly tipping and items going to landfill. 
 
Furniture is created and trends and fashions change. 
 
Rather than abandoning an item, which then heads to the local tip and landfill, your preloved items could be donated to a local organisation for upcycling and resale. 
 
Or you could be searching for that ideal bedside table, and you can purchase a pre-loved, repurposed item that is totally unique. 
 
 
The Benefits of Repurposing and Recycling. 
 
The feelgood factor of purchasing a preowned piece of home-ware is hard to beat. 
 
Buying second-hand often supports a charity, a voluntary organisation or a small business. 
 
It also means fewer items are being abandoned before heading to the dreaded landfill sites. 
 
In some ways, repurposing helps reduce carbon emissions which are created through production of brand-new items. 
 
As many preloved items are ‘verging on being vintage’ in terms of when they are made. 
 
Some items are better made than some of their more modern, mass-produced counterparts. 
 
This can also make them more cost-effective overall. 
 
For businesses and organisations that upcycle furniture, then transforming an item provides employment for someone, giving them the chance to acquire and practise new skills and also giving them a sense of purpose. 
 
Tired-looking furniture items can often be unrecognisable once they’ve had some TLC, often with bespoke finishing touches, making that item totally unique. 
 
The bespoke item can, in turn, be the centrepiece of a room, giving a sense of style and uniqueness. 
 
Some preloved items also might need a simple, effective repair to help make it desirable again. 
How It Works at Furniture Works 
 
Furniture Works in Scarborough has been in business for four years! 
 
Based in busy St Thomas Street in the town, the showroom includes many bespoke items of furniture, lighting, accessories and more. 
 
 
The start of the journey is with a phone call or an email to the team at Furniture Works. 
 
If you have an item of furniture that you want to donate to Furniture Works, then a quick phone chat or email message starts the ball rolling. 
 
If the team has space in their workshop, then customers can donate by prior arrangement or it can be collected at an agreed time. 
 
The item or items are then assessed by our experts, who make a plan for each item. 
 
This plan incorporates the various skills and creative talents of our charity Futureworks' current clients, and the work is supervised by our mentors 
 
How the Upcycling Process Begins 
 
Once an item has been successfully donated, there is an initial check for cracks and splits in the furniture’s materials. 
 
Time is given to repairing any joints by reinforcing them or completely replacing them if needed. 
 
Handles, mirrors and other moveable items are removed so thorough cleaning can take place. 
 
An item of furniture might also need to be carefully sanded down in some cases. 
 
This creates a lot of fine dust, which needs to be cleaned away before the next stage takes place. 
Sometimes old paint needs to be removed very carefully indeed. 
 
There are various ways this can be done, from careful use of white spirit to eco-friendly paint strippers, depending on the furniture item in question. 
Primers, Paints, And More 
 
We carefully research the primers, paints, sealants and varnishes if any of these are needed during the upcycling ‘journey’. 
 
Other skills we use are staining and varnishing furniture surfaces. 
 
The painting process then begins with various coats being applied. 
 
Door Handles and More 
 
We add new handles or door knobs if the originals are no longer required. 
 
Old handles and door knobs that we remove can often find a new home by being sold as separate accessories. 
 
Or some find their way onto other items of furniture more ‘in keeping’ with their style and design. 
 
We sometimes remove mirrors and transform a piece from a dresser to a set of drawers. 
 
The mirror can then be sold as a separate item. 
 
We sometimes add elements such as a shelf so an item of furniture is repurposed in several ways. 
 
What Items Are For Sale? 
 
Items include: 
 
Our Clients At Furniture Works 
 
Skills are learned in our dedicated workshop (such as Women in the Workshop) and our learners’ work can be purchased in store and online. 
 
Our workshop premises is located at nearby Futureworks NY, the Scarborough-based charity which we work hand in hand with. 
 
What Happens to the Sales from Furniture Works 
 
Sales from Furniture Works helps provide support and guidance to vulnerable and disengaged individuals; young people aged 15+, providing holistic support as well as opportunities to develop experience, life skills and accredited qualifications. 
 
Futureworks NY also works with economically inactive adults with the aim of moving them closer to employment, increasing social skills and reducing feelings of isolation for our local community in Scarborough. 
 
The team strives to encourage all ages to fulfil their potential through engagement, motivation, and support via alternative learning structures. 
 
Futureworks NY CEO’s, Sarah and Michelle, said: 
“We are currently holding a waiting list of learners - securing grant funding is vital to ensure we can continue delivering high quality training whilst we provide support and guidance to local people most in need. Increasing the amount of freedom funding we have access to will mean that we are less reliant on tied funding and contracts, enabling us to create a more rounded service where our clients can also access support in house for such things as mental health, financial issues or housing.” 
 
Futureworks NY is dedicated to being an organisation where learners can develop through a variety of provisions suited to their level of ability, ensuring the support they need is continued throughout their journey. The learner’s individual needs are recognised and dealt with as a priority before moving on to more structured, academic work, ensuring their individual strengths are recognised and utilised within their journey with us. 
 
To support with fundraising please get in touch info@futureworksny.co.uk or consider buying something from our shop or grabbing a coffee on the go at 39, St Thomas Street, shopping online, or making a financial donation here. 
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