How Does Bulky Bob's Help People?
How Does Bulky Bob’s Help?
Bulky Bob’s helps people in poverty in several ways:
- We give furniture away to people in furniture poverty,
- We run a salaried training course to help people living in poverty to get sustainable employment, whether they are unemployed or in a low paid insecure job, and
- We also run our End Furniture Poverty campaign to raise awareness of the issues and work with partners to find out ways to ease it.
What is Furniture Poverty?
The End Child Poverty coalition reported in 2016 that a third of children in Liverpool are living in poverty, 31,000 children – 4% more than the national average. Across Merseyside as a whole, 29% of children are living below the poverty line – in total, 85,000 children. Just in Merseyside.
Furniture Poverty is being unable to afford or get hold of basic furniture and furnishings, including domestic appliances like cookers and fridges, that give a household a decent quality of life and the ability to take part in society. Being in Furniture Poverty means a household doesn’t have all of the essential items they need or are using expensive credit to afford them and potentially going without other essentials such as food and heating to pay for their furniture.
Furniture poverty is caused by lack of access to affordable furniture and appliances – through existing budget, access to reasonable credit, family and friends. And by financial insecurity – low levels of income, variable income and high costs of living.
Possessing essential furniture items allows people to live a less chaotic life. A recent focus group with referral agencies revealed that issues such as not being able to put clothes away, not having a table to eat at, or for children to do their homework, have a very negative impact. Getting essential furniture can have a particularly significant impact on the lives of children. Having furniture in their homes and bedrooms is often cited as improving their confidence and pride, and enables them to have friends to visit.
Lacking essential furniture can drive families to breaking point, and simply getting a table to eat at together can improve family relationships, a sofa to sit on together, can allow them to sit together to relax. One referral agent said: “Some of the stuff we’ve got from Bulky Bob’s have kept families together.”