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A couch for Christmas

5 December, 2019

Christmas has come early this year for a veteran, thanks to a housing association’s furniture recycling scheme.

Ex-soldier John*, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, lives in one of Salix Home’s neighbourhoods and has been able to replace his worn-out furniture just in time for Christmas, with the help of Salix Homes.

John has been working with Jill Darwent from Walking with The Wounded, to help him get back on his feet and access the relevant services that he needs, to be able to move forward with his life.

Walking with the Wounded supports those who have served in the Armed Forces and their families, empowering them to regain their independence, thrive and contribute in our communities.

Jill is a Support Care Coordinator on the Northern Care Coordination Partnership (NCCP) project and works with veterans with complex needs, such as mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She contacted the furniture recycling team to see if they could help John.

Janine Hart, Recycling Coordinator at Salix Homes said: “John doesn’t have a lot of money and the small amount of furniture he had in his accommodation, wasn’t in very good condition. He told me how he wanted a sofa, so he could relax in his home and maybe even watch some Christmas films and I knew I had to make his Christmas wish come true.

“We invited John and Jill to our warehouse to look through our donated furniture and household items. He was able to take home a sofa, some rugs, electric heater, kettle and clothes drier. As he was leaving, he gave me a hug which really showed how much it meant to him.”

Jill added: “since leaving the Armed Forces, John has had a difficult time and spent a period of this homeless. This is the first secure tenancy and home he has had in a very long time, so it was so nice to listen to him, watch him smiling and planning for his future. It may seem small steps to some people, but for him this is huge.

Since the recycling scheme launched in July 2019, it has been able to provide much needed furniture and support to almost 50 tenants. This includes people that have fallen on hard times, refugees and women escaping domestic violence.

Jill said: “The recycling service that Salix Homes runs is an amazing scheme and I only wish other housing providers did the same. It enables people with nothing, to have the same as others and start to build a safe and happy home environment. This encourages stability and gives motivation to keep things nice”.

The scheme is only currently available for Salix Homes tenants.

For more information on donating furniture or if you could make use of this new service moving into your new Salix Home then please get in touch by calling Janine Hart Salix Homes Recycling Co-Ordinator on 0800 218 2000.