Gateway Furniture Project is about to open an exciting new chapter, enabling us to expand our work and the number of families we can support in Swindon.
The Furniture Project has been growing steadily from its humble beginnings several years ago. These days we’re helping nearly 500 families a year, with 2,400 pieces of furniture flowing in and out of our warehouse, averting over 50 tonnes from landfill!
With this fantastic, God-blessed growth of the project, we’ve been investigating and praying into how to go forward. We are blessed with a great team of volunteers who keep GFP running, however to expand the work it was clear we needed to have a couple of employed staff. To do this we needed to find a way to create some income for the project, ideally working towards it becoming self-sustaining.
Our prayer team have been praying about the way forward for the last year. We’ve had a number of prophetic words from them, including this one in June 2012:
…saw a shop with an umbrella…above the shop is a room you can have, then the shop will disappear and you can have it too….
….umbrella possibly means someone else will take over a building for both they and Gateway Furniture Project to use….
Over the summer of 2013 we were contacted by Healthy Planet (www.healthyplanet.org), a charity which aims to collaborate with other projects to create practical ways to engage with local communities. They offered Gateway Furniture Project the opportunity to share some temporary commercial space free of charge! On a temporary basis they will pay the rent, rates and utilities, giving us a relatively cost-free opportunity to have a physical presence in Swindon town centre!
And so we’re excited to announce the next chapter in Gateway Furniture Project – the opening of The Gate on 26 October. It’s located on Havelock Sq (in the old Blacks shop)
The Gate will be a presence in Swindon where we will sell furniture, home accessories, toys and clothes – all of which comes into our warehouse regularly. Selling it through The Gate will have multiple benefits:
- generating an income, which can go towards employing a small staff at the project and help GFP become self-sustaining
- clears space in the warehouse for more furniture to come in for distribution
- provides a physical face to GFP in Swindon for us to engage with the community
- provides an avenue for promoting Gateway Church Swindon
- provides opportunity for many more meaningful conversations
Eventually we hope to develop The Gate to also run a cafe, and become a community hub for a host of community activities, even maybe Alpha courses!
How can you help?
All of this exciting work can only happen with God’s blessing – and the work of many hands!
Firstly, we ask everyone to PRAY! Pray for the success of The Gate, for continued favour with other organisations, for all practical needs to be met. Pray against any hold-ups or opposition.
Secondly – we need ‘all hands on deck’ for setting up the shop. Particularly on Weds 2 and Thurs 3 October we’d love to get a whole load of people into the shop to get stuck in to cleaning, painting, wall-papering and generally getting it ready for stocking up.
Thirdly – we’ll need volunteers once the shop is up and running. If you’d be interested in being involved with this project – however much time you’re able to give – please get in touch with us.
You can contact Gateway Furniture Project at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Dawn Prosser (GFP co-ordinator) on 07544549476