One small advert attracts welcome support
The Gateway Furniture Project in Westlea and its sister shop the Gate in Havelock Square, by the Brunel Centre, are proving more popular and in demand than ever, offering previously loved household items, bridal wear, clothing, books and toys to families in need.
Explaining the project’s success manager Dawn Prosser said: “A lot of our highest quality donations come via the advert that we have in Swindon Link magazine.
“Last year we gave away 2,200 items of furniture to families in need, and diverted 50 tonnes from landfill. On average we are serving about 50 families each month.”
The Gate has been open since November 2013, and is more than just a charity outlet. Dawn said: “On the first floor people can come and enjoy a free tea or coffee and a piece of cake. There’s also a free toddlers’ area. It’s proving a popular meeting place and there are craft workshops to join in with too.”
Above, preparing for opening last November. Right, Dawn Prosser in the shop window next to Havelock Street. Below, the children’s play space next to the first floor cafe
Also on offer are free books for people to take away, through a joint venture with Healthy Planet, an organisation which diverts books from landfill. Commenting on the book scheme Dawn said: “People can take away three books at any time. We have about 2,000 on our shelves to choose from.”
Due to increased demand for the service, the project is in need of donations of white goods, double beds, chests of drawers and wardrobes. Meanwhile a new bridal section of the Gate shop requires donations of dresses and accessories.
Describing other items in demand Dawn said: “We also need men’s clothing, toys, DVDs and jewellery.”
The Gateway project has recently been granted space at Avebury House in Westlea, which will give more room to display beds and starter packs of pots and pans and other domestic items. Dawn said: “We are very grateful to Healthy Planet for giving us this space, and to John Lewis for their donation of display stands for the starter packs.”