Landmark anniversary for Fleetwood group

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AN ORGANISATION which defied the odds celebrated 10 years of helping people who are short of cash.

Wyre and Fylde Refurb, based at Navigation Way in Fleetwood, refurbishes furniture to sell at knockdown prices to those who cannot afford to buy new.

And project coordinator Guy Hay said they never expected to get as far as they have.

He added: “In September 2002 I had funding for six months, no people and they gave me £150 and a folder and asked me to set it up. We are still fragile, we have no money and we don’t own our building.”

When the organisation was set up it was among a number of local organisations which got grants from a regeneration fund.

Now the Lofthouse Building on Dock Street is the only other organisation which remains 10 years on.

Since then Refurb has branched out into recycling paint, bicycles and white goods.

It has also begun commercial Portable Appliance Testing.

It has won a string of awards, the latest being the Lancashire Best Community Enterprise, and has been short-listed for four other prizes this year.

Social services and other organisations give referrals to the group which offers clients furniture at bargain prices. But the job has its frustrations.

Mr Hay said: “We have people who just try to offload their rubbish on to us and they get upset and we won’t take it. We also get people who get upset if we won’t fit their furniture

“I’ve been threatened with a baseball bat by somebody who bought a tumble dryer for £20.

“They had five kids and it lasted six months and they wanted their money back.”

In 10 years the organisation has reused 19,000 tonnes of goods and now employs nine people.