Recycling scheme helps to improve lives of homeless

111009 JPOS Chi Jun16 Restore  Photo Louise Adams''The Duchess of Richmond is shown around the new shop by  project manager Mark Lions at the launch of the Stonepillow charity's new furniture store.
111009 JPOS Chi Jun16 Restore Photo Louise Adams''The Duchess of Richmond is shown around the new shop by project manager Mark Lions at the launch of the Stonepillow charity's new furniture store.

A furniture recycling scheme which is helping to improve the lives of homeless and vulnerable members of society is celebrating after moving into new premises in Chichester.

The Restore Project is part of Stonepillow’s award-winning work across the community, and on Saturday, June 18, its new building in Terminus Road was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Richmond.

Funded by the National Lottery, the project helps to promote recycling by giving Stonepillow’s clients the chance to develop a variety of practical skills in woodwork and restoration, and giving a new lease to unwanted furniture and white goods.

Experts donate their time to work with clients and the finished goods are then sold on at a negotiable price to those on low income or benefits.

The idea is that, eventually, the project will be self-financing.

The Restore Project also works with Job Centre Plus and other training providers to give unemployed people a chance to complete a four-week period of work experience.

Project manager Mark Lyons said he was very pleased at the progress of Restore and hoped it would grow further.

“We’ve made an excellent start and our clients are learning a valuable range of skills, and it is making a difference,” he said.

“We are very thankful to all our volunteers and it’s good to see everything coming together after many months of work on establishing the project.”

Stonepillow is part of the St Richard of Chichester Christian Care Association, which also runs the St Joseph’s Night Shelter in Hunston.

Senior project manager Kevin Bristow said everyone involved with the organisation had a very strong commitment to the work of Stonepillow and that it tried to be very client-led.

“It’s about getting that person confident about themselves and showing them they can do things,” he said.