Fringe Box



Furniture Link Has So Much To Offer – For Customers And Its Staff

Published on: 17 Feb, 2015
Updated on: 17 Feb, 2015

By Anna Valentina 

Every now and then people move house or just clear it – for whichever reason. Often lots of things are dumped or perhaps recycled. They may also be donated to charity.

Now, Guildford-based Furniture Link is offering the whole clearance process.

Operations manager Wendy Watson and Neil Mason.

Operations manager Wendy Watson and chief executive Neil Mason.

Furniture Link says its service is cheaper than other commercial services. The removed furniture is then sold to people who want to furnish their homes cost effectively. Plus, it provides back-to-work volunteering opportunities.

Neil Mason, who runs Furniture Link, with its showroom and warehouse on Guildford’s Cathedral Hill business park, says: “We ask for a donation to cover the cost of collection”.

Neil promises that everything is checked and then recycled, refurbished and reused whenever possible.

All sorts of things for the home can be found in the showroom.

All sorts of things for the home can be found in the showroom.

The showroom’s staff and volunteers always do their best to refurbish the furniture – a broken drawer or dangling door on a cupboard is not a problem, while all electrical appliances will be PAT tested and if possible function tested.

After that, the donated items of furniture will make their way to the showroom.

Books, crockery or furniture - everything is for sale.

Books, crockery or furniture – everything is for sale.

Typical prices are not high, and most of the price tags carry figures in the £25 to £50 range.

Neil said: “We offer a very wide selection of items, so anyone can find something for their taste and their pocket.”

The efficiency of the Furniture Link store is due, in part, to the generous help of the volunteers. About twenty of them are sparing some 600 hours per month there.

There is a corner for bicycles for sale!

There is a corner for bicycles for sale!

They do all sorts of work: repair the furniture, test white goods, greet customers and clean the showroom, drive the van and deliver purchases. For some, this activity is vital to them.

Furniture Link is supported by Guildford Borough Council and Surrey County Council: they have made it possible for the enterprise to give a hand to those who have found themselves in difficult circumstances and would like to return to a normal life.

Those who have had troubles with the law, or maybe have become addicted to drugs or alcohol, find it important to have the opportunity of a job, to gain some work experience, to obtain good references. Even to just be involved, to get a different life and make friends is extremely important.

I had an interesting talk to one of them – a pleasant young man who confessed to once being in prison. He has shown good behaviour and was permitted to undertake some volunteering work in the showroom for the last few months.

He really appreciates the chance he has had:  He said: “Here I have understood that I don’t want to continue what I used to do. I would like to change my life for good. And as I like helping here so much, I would be happy to get a job in the shop from what I’ve learnt at Furniture Link.”

This is quite possible: some former volunteers have already received permanent positions in the showroom. According to Neil, Furniture Link’s business is growing and the project will be able to hire more employees: six new positions were made available during the last 18 months alone.

Like some of his colleagues Tony McNamara was a volunteer before becoming a full-time driver forFurniture Link.

Like some of his colleagues, Tony McNamara was a volunteer before becoming a full-time driver forFurniture Link.

For more details about Furniture Link and the services it offers and the furniture it has for sale, call Natasha on 01483 506504.

The showroom is open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Saturdays.

Website: www.

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Responses to Furniture Link Has So Much To Offer – For Customers And Its Staff

  1. David Smith Reply

    February 18, 2015 at 9:56 am

    The idea of Furniture Link is great especially as it provides volunteering work and in theory reduces landfill. Due to all the advertising I actually visited and I must say it was extremely disappointing.

    I was looking to source furniture for a student house so it needn’t have been anything special. I found that 90% of the items should have been sent straight to Slyfield – there is a wood recycling skip there. I say this as they were damaged chipped or just in a condition not suitable for anyone (I thought as I walked around “ who is going to buy that?”) The sofas were often stained and damaged and being completely honest were expensive for what they were. The bikes look good though although I never saw these.

    It’s such a shame as this is a good idea but I think in these modern times people have become savvy as to the likes of gum tree and Ebay where they can sell items and the buyers often collect.

  2. Neil Mason (project manager Furniture Linkl) Reply

    February 23, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Thank you for your comments David, which are unusual as we have many many satisfied customers, was there really nothing worth buying?

    Used furniture is sometimes chipped hence why it might be being recycled by us. We have a mixture of settees and obviously some are better than others but generally the acid test is, does it have a fire label on and would the guys checking it, buy it themselves! Everything in stock in February is less than £40 too including leather sofas and high street names etc.

    If you will give us another try we would be happy to reimburse you your bus fare from your last trip and please ask to see Wendy, Kenny or myself when next in so that you can show us exactly where we might be going wrong as your comments are important to us.

    You are right about this being a good idea. We supported 3,500 families last year across the borough of Guildford with items for their homes, provided a hot lunch and travel expenses for 20 volunteers a month who would be worse off without our placements as they gained invaluable skills at the facility whilst diverting 136,000kgs from the skip that you spoke about in Slyfield.

    This was all done without draining any government resources as only 7% of our income in 2013-14 was from grants – the rest was from customers finding something they loved and making the till ring at this self funding social enterprise!

    We look forward to hopefully welcoming you back David, please give it another chance.

    Regards Neil
    Project Manager

  3. Raineee Wornham Reply

    February 24, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Without Furniture Link, in 2006 I would have had nothing after my house fire.

    They are such lovely and caring people. Without them so many families would be without the basic items in life.

    I got a cot for my granddaughter for £15 in lovely condition. Thank you Neil.

    I will always go to Furniture Link. They helped me after my son had major surgery on his legs. Over the phone they took the measurements of a bed I needed to enable my son to be able to get out of it after his recovery.

    Within a day they had found and delivered a bed and only charged me £5 for it.

    Every single volunteer has a heart of gold and gives 100% to help those in need.

    I will never be able to thank them enough.

  4. Susann Power Reply

    February 25, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Furniture Link is wonderful!

    Of course most of the furniture is old, but there are some real gems there.

    A bit of sandpaper, stripping off old paint and putting on some new paint and you’ve got yourself a beautiful and unique new piece for your house. A furniture up-cyler’s dream!

    Just furnished half of our house there and can’t wait to bring those old antiques back to their former glory.

    Also, the staff is great. Very helpful and friendly. Keep the good work up!

    NB: Before going to Furniture Link, my husband and I spent five hours in Ikea and left deflated by the soulless, throw-away furniture that we saw. Bought nothing there.

    I suppose everyone needs to make up their mind whether they prefer the flat pack or a bit of character furniture.

  5. Pete Knight Reply

    February 26, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Susanne and Rainee possibly bought all the good stuff.

    I took my sister along who, for the record, has bought her first place and has no sofa yet due to shortage of funds.

    The items in here were of such poor condition we both came away with nothing and baffled as to the reviews.

    If you want a temporary fix after a house fire go for, it but I really would think twice before recommending anyone.

    I can see it is a good idea but perhaps save your petrol.

  6. Andy Coumbe Reply

    February 27, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I have just recently purchased a few items from Furniture Link, and I am very impressed!

    The table and chairs were a bargain, and the condition was excellent, as was the two-seat sofa.

    I was so impressed that I went back on Thursday and bought a TV cabinet, which was also in good condition.

    £40 for a sofa.
    £40 for a table.


  7. Peter Wilson Reply

    March 2, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    These bargains are available across the country anyway. Just go to your local auction house!

  8. Jayne Hill Reply

    March 3, 2015 at 8:13 am

    I think you are missing the point Mr Wilson.

    Auctions generally operate bi-monthly at best and are a commercial business. They don’t take the old stuff away as Furniture Link did with the old cot when they delivered my son’s new mattress and bed which his two big brothers had used before him.

    I know of someone who volunteered at this charity and the improvements to his confidence enabled him to move on to part-time work.

    These people are a charity not for profit who do their best every time.

    I walk to the charity, which is open six days a week, to save bus fares, and they gave me 50% discount. So when your suggestion offers all this, then perhaps you can pick me up and drive me there with my double buggy!

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