Salvation Army's valley furniture project goes from strength to strength

published on 24 Jul 2015

The Salvation Army in Stirling is hoping a new location for its successful furniture reuse project will boost its outreach work.

The church and charity, which is this month celebrating 150 years of transforming lives, has relocated its Valley Project to Springkerse Trade Park.

Now leaders of the organisation are aiming to build on the project's success - so they can invest all profits straight back into community initiatives.

The Valley Project first opened in 2010 to help vulnerable and homeless people furnish their accommodation. Since then it has helped hundreds of people sustain their tenancies by enabling them to create a home.

And by selling furniture, white goods, electrical appliances, clothing, books and other bric-a-brac, the project has also helped cut down on the amount of household items ending up in landfill.

Members of the public are being invited to come along to the new showroom on Munro Road and have a rummage around for some great bargains.

Territorial Envoy Billy McMurray, who runs The Salvation Army's church in Stirling, said: “Many of our customers can’t afford new furniture and so we’re able to offer them quality household goods at an affordable price. We also help people who are in desperate need by offering practical assistance.

"We're thankful to God and the public who keep donating to us. With that support and generosity our Valley Project has grown tremendously.

"We have been able to employ more staff, create more opportunities for volunteers and expand the size of the showroom.

"Now we are looking at investing the profits into programmes aimed at tackling unemployment and homelessness in the area."

Robert Japp is a volunteer turned full-time employee at the Valley Project. He credits The Salvation Army for helping him when he at a lows ebb.

Robert, from Tullibody, said: "I started volunteering with The Salvation Army about four years ago. At first I was feeling really low but slowly with Billy's help I got my confidence back. I'm delighted that I'm now working here full-time."

Alongside worship services, The Salvation Army in Stirling offers practical support to people who are vulnerable or in need within the local community.

The wide range of programmes and activities at the centre in Drip Road includes support for people who are homeless, and helping people overcome drug and alcohol addictions. Family breakdown, unemployment, poverty, homelessness, and drug and alcohol dependency are just some of the reasons why people can lose everything they value, including their dignity.

The Salvation Army is committed to working with those whose lives are damaged by homelessness and substance abuse, most notably to alcohol and drugs, offering help and practical support to individuals to overcome these problems

in 2012, the Valley Project won an award with Stirling Council at the Scottish Community Payback Awards – a scheme to acknowledge the best and most innovative community payback unpaid work and community service projects taking place across Scotland.

All the projects involved offenders who had been ordered by the courts to undertake unpaid work in the community, with the Stirling Community Payback team winning the Best Partnership Project award for their involvement in the Valley Project.

The Salvation Army now works in partnership with Learndirect who send volunteers to be involved in all aspects of the operation; revamping and renovating all kinds of household goods that previously would have gone to the local tip. Not only have volunteers acquired a range of practical skills, there have been significant benefits to the environment with thousands of tonnes of goods diverted from landfill.

To volunteer at the Valley Project or to donate, call 01786 479262.