Good Old Furniture Available
1860. Graeme Stevens
Graeme Stevens, from Penzance, runs the ‘GOFA’ project (Good Old Furniture Available) which restores donated furniture and electrical goods to give high-quality, low-cost items to people in need across Cornwall, including those with mental health difficulties and people fleeing domestic abuse.
The project has been running since 1995, aiming to help people improve their physical and mental wellbeing by surrounding themselves with good furniture and appliances. ‘GOFA’ is supported by a wide range of volunteers including retired carpenters who are able to help restore furniture, and can provide a range of services such as servicing and completing PAT testing, painting and other support with home furnishing. The project works closely with the NHS in Cornwall, YMCA, social services, local charities, women’s refuge and other community-based organisations in the county to connect with individuals in need.
In a personal letter to Graeme, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Congratulations on the success of ‘Good Old Furniture Available’ and all that you do to help people across Cornwall.
“By restoring unwanted furniture, you are cutting waste and then providing high-quality furniture at low cost. This is a brilliant way of supporting people in your community living with mental health difficulties and victims of domestic abuse. Your initiative helps them build lives with great furniture and turn houses into homes.”
“Receiving this award represents the hard committed work that the volunteers carry out on a daily basis, from the people on the shop floor, delivering all over West Cornwall, to the supportive Trustees.
“GOFA’s aim is to help and support all ages of the community who desperately need our service by providing donated, essential household items of furniture in an area of the UK that has a high poverty rate. GOFA is a non profit making charity that relies on donations of furniture and household items.”