Preston's Guild92 charity must close its Garstang Bits 'N 'Bobs fundraising shop

Going - the Bits 'n' Bobs Re-Use shop at the Garstang Community Recycling and Re-Use Centre  on Brockholes Way, Catterall
Going - the Bits 'n' Bobs Re-Use shop at the Garstang Community Recycling and Re-Use Centre on Brockholes Way, Catterall

A Preston based furniture charity which helps the needy and homeless is set to lose up to £30,000 a year after the county council decided its Garstang Reuse Shop must close.

Gift92 has run a Bits ’n’ Bobs shop at the former Garstang tip, now the Garstang Community Recycling and Re-Use Centre, for the last three and a half years.

Peter Metcalf, Chairman of  Preston based charity Gift92

Peter Metcalf, Chairman of Preston based charity Gift92

But six months ago the charity says it was advised it must vacate the site.

The shop will close at 5pm on Sunday April 19 and will be reopened by the county council on May 1.

Gift92 Chairman Peter Metcalf said: "We’ve developed it through a lot of hard work from staff and the Garstang public have got involved. It’s become a community hub with all sorts of things being sold. They’ve learned a lot from us I’m sure.

“Our problem is we never had a contract with LCC. It was a relationship. It’s developed so much it’s certainly helped us with our funding and to meet one of our targets. We are a charity that recycles and reuses. We’ll struggle for finance. We will have to raise money in other ways and we will have to find some other way of developing our charity. Certainly it’s a challenge- but that’s been the way of it for the past 27/28 years."

He stressed the charity does not just fund raise but collects furniture, appliances and other items to help those in need to set up a home. He said: "We started in Guild Year 92. We are the only charity ever to come out of Preston Guild - Guild Initiative Furniture Trust."

Steve Scott, Lancashire County Council head of waste management, said: “In the coming months we’ll be looking to build upon our work to get as much value as possible from items which can be reused instead of being thrown away including adding to the shops at Catterall and Ingol.

“In preparation for this we’re standardising the way our existing reuse shops operate, so that they can support each other in terms of staffing and supply of goods for sale, and also by simplifying administration. We’re very grateful to Gift92 for making such a success of the shop, and will still be supporting them over the coming year and helping them to supply furniture.”

He added: “We will also continue to employ the two part-time staff who currently work at the shop. We’d encourage people to make the most of any unwanted items and support the excellent work of Gift92 and other charities in Lancashire.”

The Gift92 van will still collect donations of furniture and household appliances in the Garstang area.

Peter added: “We are disappointed, but at the same time it’s been going for three and a half years.”

The charity. which has a warehouse in Preston, helps people in Preston, Garstang, Tarleton, Chorley, Longridge and Kirkham areas. Around 750 individuals and families a year are supported anything and everything from crockery to curtains and furniture. The charity says for some it makes the crucial difference between being able to accept tenancy of an empty property and not being able to afford to furnish it. Peter said: “There’s a massive need. LCC have actually said they’ll help us with some furniture. We’ll continue from the heart of Preston.”

• The warehouse is not open to the public. Clients are welcomed by referral. See www.gift92.com

• To donate furniture and appliances to Gift92 call 01772 716572 or email mail@gift92.com