"Whilst the world has made some progress in reducing income poverty, many people still remain vulnerable to it, even in the UK. By supporting the Now! Charity, we can play a part in helping to improve the environment and work towards an inclusive society that aims to eradicate poverty and protect the planet. Sustaining the environment for future generations." 

Serena May, Trustee 

The Now! Charity Group is dedicated to providing essential household items and life-changing community experiences to those most in need. Furniture Now! reduces waste via the reuse and recycling of living items, whilst we maximize our impact through multiple 'Projects for Good', local support initiatives which are driven to achieve social transformation for people at risk of exclusion.

Our vision is to restore dignity in the poorest people in our society and re-connect them to their community. Without dignity it’s difficult to rise up, without basic skills and confidence it’s difficult to become independent, and without connection it’s difficult to feel safe, valued and included.

From milk float to root cause

Our mission began in 1995 as a volunteer run milk float peddling the streets of Lewes, collecting and redistributing unwanted furniture and household items to residents most in need. Shortly after, Furniture Now! was formed as an independent non-profit, 24 years on and our social inclusion charity continues to tackle the root causes of poverty and marginalisation, providing for people’s immediate need for restoring dignity and a stable means of living.

In 2014, Furniture Now! evolved into the Now! Charity Group, broadening its remit to include wellbeing groups, education courses and apprenticeships, this arm of the charity assisting hundreds of people each year, developing their skills, becoming better connected to their community, progressing to make a positive contribution volunteering in society or finding employment. Our passion is ignited by two vital causes 

1. To inspire an environmentally responsible living culture, driving the reduction of household waste.

2. To eradicate economic inequality, improving accessibility for the most vulnerable in our society.

"Some people have nothing. Just a mattress on the floor, tiny. Sometimes its three or four people in one room, kids included." 

Dave Streeter, Driver 

We need to do more. The gaps in inequality must be closed, the underlying problems solved.

We impact lives in multiple ways, often triggered by a single piece of essential furniture

We provide donated furniture to meet immediate physical needs, whilst using our social enterprise driven revenue to deliver life changing opportunities for the vulnerable, including essential skills training and community projects that tackle the underlying causes of their personal challenges. It’s a highly resourceful approach with each piece of furniture saved from waste initiating a chain of value that creates far reaching ripples of social, financial and educational impact.

In 2018 we provided free furniture (via supplier contracts) to 1412 people in crisis (6600 indirect beneficiaries), discounted furniture to 1701 people on financial support (7900 beneficiaries) and low cost furniture to 2266 people in ‘working poverty’ (10,500 beneficiaries). We are proud that our community initiatives impacted hundreds of services users, many of whom suffering vulnerabilities, whether they achieved an NCFE qualification in Maths and English or participated in our twice-weekly gardening and woodwork groups delivered across East Sussex. 

"Lots of our service users have mental health issues. They're isolated and don't interact with many people, often they come to simply have a chat and tackle their issues. Our hubs are somewhere to be asked, how are you?"

Amanda West, Furniture Now! Assistant

Our hubs in Lewes, Hailsham and Eastbourne are rooted in their communities. 48 of the 68 people within our support team are volunteers, 88% of our team have experienced mental health issues and 23% a learning disability. Our hubs have a tremendous outreach in their communities, operating as places of safety and connection for volunteers and over 600 people per week who visit to chat, access essential items, our groups and courses. They are a trusted gateway to stigma-free integration.

A collective mission

Our work is challenging, extensively rewarding and our people are driven to achieve cultural change. All our staff and volunteers are treated equally. 

Our charity has an effective model for creating change, with potential to significantly scale its impact.

"Everyone employed here works really hard for the charity. No one sees it as a retail position or just another teaching job. We care about each other, if people have a problem, whether it be our service users, volunteers or staff, we provide a helping hand. We are a charity which provides two-tier pricing but not two-tier staffing." 

Amber Swansborough, Executive Assistant