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Donating Furniture Safely During the Pandemic

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

If you have furniture or appliances that you'd like to donate to charity, you may have some questions about how to stay safe while doing so during the pandemic.

Foundations Furniture's free collection service is available now so we cover the questions people may have about how we're keeping our furniture donors safe.

We cover our safety measures in place at our charity shop separately.

How Do you Safely Collect Second Hand Items?

How to arrange collection for your donated furniture

Households and organisations in Tyne and Wear can donate household items to Foundations by pre-booking a collection slot over the telephone any weekday between 9:30am and 4:30pm on 0191 4778337.

When you book a collection slot, we'll work with you to make sure it is done safety to meet your needs. We'll ask you:-

  • Whether anyone in the household is shielded

  • Whether we can collect the items from your door of if you need us to enter your home to do this for you

We will also go through our safety practices depending on your needs, and what will happen on the day.

Our Preparations Before We Set Off

Before we even step foot in our van to collect second furniture and appliances from local people we sanitise the vehicle, prepare our PPE and have our cleaning kits ready. If you need us to enter your home, we may give you a courtesy call in the morning to ensure no household members are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus. If anyone is unwell on the day of our collection, and your items cannot be left outside, we will work with you to arrange an alternative day when you are no longer isolating.

What Happens When We Arrive

The driving team will give you quick a telephone call from the van to let you know they have arrived. Our driving team will wear PPE at all times to keep you safe and to protect themselves. They change their PPE between each collection, and practice strict hygiene practices too.

What to Do If We Are Collecting Items from Your Door

Our team will notify you that we have arrived to collect your items, and we will load them onto our van.

What to Do If We Are Entering Your Home to Collect Items

We'll always maintain a 2 metre distance from you when we are inside your home, and we ask that other household members to keep 2 metres away too. Before we enter, we ask that you:-

  • ensure your home is well ventilated

  • open all interior doors in advance

  • ensure that there are no obstructions from your front door, to the area where your donated items are located. This will ensure that our driving team do not have to touch anything in your home unnecessarily.

Do I still Receive a Collection Note?

Yes, we will always leave a collection note at a safe distance but we have removed the requirement of a signature from our donors. (These images are never shared in line with our GDPR and data protection policy, and will be taken in such a way that nobody can be identified.)

Our driver will notify you if any of the items could not be accepted. He will do this by writing a note on your collection sheet (our website gives further guidance on the items and the condition we can and cannot accept).

When happens to the items when they arrive back at Foundations?

Your furniture is unloaded from our van and put straight into our quarantine area. The coronavirus can live on some surfaces for up to 72 hours (3 days).

Our cleaning practices will remove the potential risk from hard surfaces, but to guarantee that the virus has completely gone from soft surfaces of our furniture, we are closed to beneficiaries on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays giving each item with soft surfaces at least 89 hours (from 4pm on Fridays to 9am on Mondays) before it goes on display.

Any appliances will then be PAT tested for safety, and we ensure it is in good working order, and any minor repairs are carried out on furniture. Once this this is complete, the items are made available to people in hardship.

Who Will My Donation Help?

Your donated items will help Gateshead residents experiencing hardship. We support around 900 households each year, who come to us for help for many reasons. We've seen first hand that it can be life changing.

What Can I Donate?

Here are some examples of the furniture we collect:

  • Sofas/three-piece suites

  • Bedroom furniture

  • Beds and headboards

  • Mattresses

  • Dining tables and chairs

  • Book cases/wall units

  • Coffee tables

  • Small electrical appliances

  • Kitchen Appliances

  • Adult and Children's Bikes

Which areas of the North East Can Donate?

We collect furniture from most areas in the North East. If you're unsure, please reach out and ask us.

How Much Does it Cost?

Collection is always free of charge in Tyne and Wear.

Is My Furniture in Good Enough Condition to donate?

Our team will help you all the way, from your first email or phone call, to the day and time we pick up your items. Here are some things to consider:-

  • Is it in a clean and tidy condition?

  • Is it unbroken?

  • Is it safe for use?

  • Is any fabric/material unstained and odourless?

  • Is it complete with no missing parts?

  • If donating units, are they no bigger than 4ft in length?

  • Does the sofa(s) or upholstered item(s) carry a Fire Safety Tag

Fire safety tag to look out for - it must be attached

More Useful Resources

Buying Second Hand Furniture Safely During the Pandemic

Furniture Poverty: Are You Affected?

The Cost of Second Hand Furniture

To donate furniture to our charity, it is quick and easy and can help change somebody's life. To book a collection, call us on 0191 4778337, email foundations.project@btconnect.com of contact us via the Foundations contact page.

You can also use our contact details if you, or someone you know is struggling to afford furniture in Gateshead. With no strict eligibility criteria at Foundations, our ethos is to support anyone struggling to afford furniture, for any reason, so please get in touch if you need assistance.

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