A Bury St Edmunds charity is to open its furniture warehouse to the public to meet changing demand and bring in vital funds.
Gatehouse has sold donated furniture and other household items at a reduced rate to people on means tested benefits, who have been referred by support agencies, for almost 30 years. The initiative helps about 2,500 households each year and saves about 90 tonnes of items going to landfill.
However, with changing consumer demand the charity is to open its home store, in Dettingen Way, to the general public to bring in extra funds.
Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive at Gatehouse, said: “Times are changing - people are getting more items from Facebook and eBay and we’re not seeing as many people on low incomes or benefits wanting furniture from us.
“To enable the charity to continue running we need to make changes so we’re going to open it up so everyone can buy furniture from us.”
She emphasised that those on means tested benefit will continue to get a reduced rate for the furniture.
“It may even work out better for them because they may get items for free if we raise enough money,” Mrs Bloomfield said. “The main goal of the charity is still to help those in need - this is an additional service to enable the charity to remain sustainable.”
Gatehouse, which also runs a foodbank, dementia hub and Christmas lunch, needs around £250,000 a year to operate. The home store will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 3pm. To donate items call 01284 754967.