Local furniture charity Hastings and Rother Furniture Service celebrated its 30th anniversary by hosting a community Thrift Fest at the Hastings Centre on September 22.
Hastings and Rother Furniture Service (HFS) invited a wide variety of community groups, local clubs and organisations, who are helping Hastings and Rother residents live fun, active, healthy and creative lives without costing the earth to take part.
The day was packed with activities, demos, workshops, talks and creative projects which HFS CEO Naomi Ridley says reflected the charity’s core ethos of recycling, upcycling, community-mindedness, sharing skills and living well for less. “Almost 1,000 people turned up on the day,” she said.
“We were bowled over by the reaction to the event. It gave us an ideal opportunity to talk to people about our charity and showcase some of our latest community projects.
“There’s so much in our local community that can be accessed and enjoyed for free or at a low-cost and we hope that the event helped signpost visitors to the organisations, clubs and charities out there.
“HFS has been fighting furniture poverty for three decades and there’s no way we could have survived and thrived for thirty years without the support of the local community.
“Thrift Fest was our way of giving something back to everyone who has supported us throughout the years.”
“HFS were offered free use of the Hastings Centre for the event and the affiliated King’s Church 1066 made a generous donation of £4,200; HFS is its charity of the year.
Naomi said: “The generous donation was raised through church service collections and two fundraising days at the church-owned Hastings Centre, when all car parking fees for the day were directed towards the charity.
“All funds will be used to support HFS’s Starter Packs scheme, which provides essential items for households in crisis, and to fund the practical and creative skills workshops run by the charity at the local women’s refuge.
“King’s Church and the Hastings Centre were so supportive of Thrift Fest.
“We were also delighted that a jumble sale run by Kings Church at thrift Fest raised almost £250 for the local food bank, which is based at the Centre.”
Visitors gave many positive comments about the event. One visitor wrote on a blackboard that The Best Thing About Thrift Fest was the arts, singing, crafts and friendliness.
Naomi added: “The overwhelmingly positive response to Thrift fest has made our 30th anniversary very special indeed.”
HFS collects and reuses furniture and electrical goods to help low-income households and provides training and opportunities for people with low incomes in Hastings and Rother.
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