Rickmansworth furniture charity shop, 9 Lives is struggling to survive due to a lack of customers, volunteers and people taking the restoration courses.
The charity, which has been running for over 15 years, supports local people in different ways, offering half price pre-loved furniture to those on benefits, and enabling people to donate unwanted furniture to them, preventing it going to landfill.
The shop also offers vocational training and experience for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, helping them to develop new skills and confidence in the workplace.
The charity, whose shop is on Wharf Lane, Rickmansworth wants to continue all its good work and is asking the community to back them.
9 Lives Furniture chairman Rosemary Hatfield MBE said: “We offer a service that helps people in need in the community, but we are struggling to get footfall, we are literally living on a shoestring. It would be a shame to lose it as we are used by people in the community who need low-cost furniture and by those who benefit from our training schemes.”
Since 2004, 9 Lives has stopped 906,506 tonnes of waste going to landfill and over 500 students have attended training courses with many subsequently moving into employment and education.
9 Lives are looking for more people to sign up to their training course, which ranges from restoring furniture in the workshop to serving customers on the tills.
Chairman Rosemary Hatfield believes this is invaluable to those with learning disabilities and mental health problems.
She said: “The training course provides volunteers with a sense of belonging and achievement and it gets them out the house into the community. We are a very happy and supportive little family, when you come into the shop you can feel that. Once people begin their training, they love it. We would love some more people to sign up.”
9 Lives Furniture was founded in 2003 by the late Pam Handley, whose voluntary work helped to improve the lives of people across Hertfordshire by looking at which services were needed most in the community.
She saw there was a demand for this kind of service in Rickmansworth, and in September 2003 secured the premises on 25 Wharf Lane, WD3 1HA, where the shop has been based ever since.
To find out more about how you can help 9 Lives Furniture continue to provide their valuable services, visit their website 9livesfurniture.org.uk or call 01923 718666.