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What Our Stakeholders Say

We work with nearly 200 referral agencies to get our preloved furniture to people in need and we held a recent focus group to find out how effective we are. Here are the results!

What Our Stakeholders Say

A recent focus group held with Bulky Bob’s referral agents – organisations who help people in need and refer them to us for help – revealed that the options for those in dire need are limited. The budgets of statutory agencies have been severely cut and national charities can take too long to help. One even said they have been to the local recycling centre to see if anything had been left of use – “I’m not joking when I say we go to Otterspool and see if anyone has dumped anything.”

They described our referral service as “extremely effective” with the speed of our response particularly positive.

Without Bulky Bob’s, they said their clients would be left with potentially expensive and dangerous alternatives, such as loan sharks and rent-to-buy providers, meaning they can face intimidating visits to their homes and the potential for debt to spiral out of control and make difficult situations even worse.

A common comment from the referral agencies was: “If not for Bulky Bob’s, people would be sat on the floor.” Another was: “just to get a wardrobe makes a real difference.”

The majority of people in crisis are facing complex problems and “as a support worker, you’re always looking for an ‘in’”. Being able to offer them a tangible immediate improvement to their lives, such as free furniture, means “you’re in then, and can get in to what is ultimately holding them back”. Clients become more trusting and are then open to support from other agencies too, such as health services.

The support workers said that Bulky Bob’s “makes a massive difference”, and “It’s a valuable tool for us”. To have pride in your home, and providing your children with a safe and comfortable place to live and grow up in is extremely valuable – possessing essential furniture is an issue that does not receive the attention it deserves. When asked what Bulky Bob’s means to their clients, one support worker said: “it means they can live like the rest of us.”