Latest News

A new Van

May 2014

The new Van and 4th from right Ken Bodycombe, far left John Coombe, and Jan Knake 3rd left with volunteers

Second Chance Furniture in Weymouth has a new van, following a generous donation from local housing provider Magna Housing Association. Second Chance Furniture is a charity which collects good quality furniture, household goods and electrical appliances for redistribution to people in need. It applied for funding from Magna’s community initiative fund (CIF) as its 11-year- old van needed replacing desperately. The CIF provides funding for community projects, allocating £120,000 a year to things which will improve the areas where residents live. Jan Knake, manager at Second Chance Furniture, said: “Second Chance Furniture aims to meet the needs of the local community, helping to alleviate poverty. “Having a reliable van is critical to us, without it we couldn’t run the scheme. When we applied for funding, we weren’t expecting such a generous contribution from Magna.” Ken Bodycombe, community investment officer at Magna, said: “Second Chance Furniture provide a service which helps many of our residents. We wanted to support them by contributing £5,000 towards the cost of the van and, in return, they support us by advertising the Magna and CIF logos on it.” John Coombe, a Magna resident who helps allocate money from the community initiative fund, said: “We wanted to support this application as it provides a great service to the local community. It seemed right that we backed the scheme and those in need of the basics to make a home.”

Second Chance Furniture 20th Anniversary

Celebration Cake

Mayor,Mayoress, Founders and volunteers

Mayor, Mayoress and Founders cutting cake.


This year is our 20th Anniversary. The Mayor and Mayoress of Chickerell joined us to celebrate this event by cutting a special cake to mark this significant milestone. The Second Chance Furniture board of trustees, organisations that have supported us over the years and some of our wonderful volunteers all came together to join in our modest but proud celebration of serving the local community over the past 20 years. It is difficult to quantify the impact we have had in helping to combat poverty but over the years we have assisted thousands of families and individuals who have some difficultyin maintaining a decent home. This is not just about providing decent second-hand furniture but allowing our clients to maintain their dignity and psychological well-being. Presently in a typical month we help 60 to 70 clients. So if you are experiencing some problems in keeping a reasonably well furnished home and are on some means tested benefit then we may be able to assist. Or if you are thinking of replacing some furniture items that are in good clean condition then please think of donating your old furniture to us so that we can pass it on to those that will benefit from it.

Many thanks to all of you who continue to support our important work and a very special thanks to all our wonderful volunteers past and present. Without you we would not be able to continue.

A word from our new Manager

The new Development Manager Jan Knake

Poverty means going without things in life that others take for granted and perhaps do not always think what it would be like to be without them’ decent furniture being one of them. For those families and individuals that find themselves financially deprived it can blight their lives and blunt their expectations. The poverty line in the UK is defined as a household income below 60% of the average. This threshold is currently around £195 a week for a lone parent with two children. Using this definition there are over 3 million children living in poverty. Families living in very low-income households are often unable to afford basic necessities, or give their children the same opportunities that others take for granted. Around half of the adults in households in poverty cannot afford to replace worn out furniture or essential white goods. For example beds have a significant contribution to our well-being. Getting a good sleep therefore is essential in boosting a person's energy level to perform well in life. Sleep is essential for quality of life. . One must place a high value on a decent bed because nothing can replace a good night's sleep in recharging the human body and spirit.

Second Chance Furniture has been working for over 20 years to alleviate this hidden poverty by providing decent furniture to those in need. We are a small local unassuming charity that has quietly, with dignity and compassion gone about our business in a non-judgemental approach to remove some of the blights that people on low incomes encounter. By providing decent used furniture we help equip them to tackle other difficulties they may face. In a typical year we make on average 700 collections and deliveries supplying 1,700 items of much needed furniture and other essential household items. Our deliveries are free of charge.

Prior to joining second chance furniture I worked for over 20 years, within the criminal justice sector and saw at first hand the effects that poverty can have on our society. I now feel very privileged to have the opportunity to manage this charity working with dedicated and caring volunteers to help those in need. But we could not do this with the support of our local community. Information on how people can help us and access our service is contained within this website. So whatever your reason for visiting us please read it all and perhaps we can help you or you can help us.

Jan Knake

Development Manager

Presentation to Howard Lester

Howard receiving gift from volunteer representative

Howard receiving another present and cutting his retirement cake made by a volunteer.

We have had achange of management at the helm of Second Chance Furniture. Howard Lester has retired as the Development Manager after diligently serving the organisation for the last 8 years. Jan Knake has been appointed as the new Development Manager.

Jan comes from a career in the public sector and has extensive management experience. Jan said that he is delighted to have been appointed and is looking forward to the chalenge of building on the successful legacy that Howard has left.

A message from Howard Lester

For me joining the scheme in 2005 was a leap into the unknown. I had come from a long-standing commercial background where profit was the key and the aim was that every customer walked away having bought something. Contrast this with running a not-for-profit charity whose main aim is to supply needy clients withitems to meet their essential needs at minimal cost and thus provide them with a comfortable home

Second Chance Furniture is about providing immediate and beneficial results whether this be in terms of furnishing a new, but empty, flat for a previously homeless person, repairing and cleaning an item of furniture that would have otherwise been consigned to landfill, or providing a worthwhile and fulfilling volunteering opportunities to people who have experienced problems in life and are seeking to turn their lives around.

Of course my role was just to orchestrate things - the real work is carried out by our dedicated group of volunteers, and with their efforts, it is not surprising thst the scheme is still going strong after 20 years. It needs your support to ensure that it can carry out such a vital service to the community. Long may it continue.

Replacement Van Fund - Co-op Presentation

Presentation photo

Paul Kimber presenting Cheque for £2000 from the Co-op to Howard Lester

The van Second Chance Furniture uses to deliver and collect furniture is coming to the end of it's life. Funding for a replacement is being sought; Howard Lester Second Chance Furniture outgoing development manager obtained a grant of £2000 from the Co-op to help towards the cost of the replacement van. The photograph above shows Paul Kimber presenting the cheque on behalf of the Co-op to Howard.

A donation of £100 has also been obtained from the Weymouth Carnival committee.

Citizens Award

Award winners and Mayor Jean de Carteret presented with Good Citizen Award

Mrs Jean de Carteret has been a valued volunteer at the heart of the Second Chance Furniture Charity for in excess of 15 years. During this time she has committed more than 3 days per week ensuring that the organisation meets it's objectives in assisting those members of society who may have difficulty making or maintaining their home.

During the years with Second Chance Furniture she has led the team of volunteers who receive the offers of furniture donations, organise the collection, help and advise the clients in the selection of items and schedule the deliveries. This is always done with a caring, friendly and professional approach which characterises the organisation.

She was recently nominated for a Good Citizens Award from Weymouth and Portland Council, this award recognises people who have dedicated their time and effort to make an outstanding contribution to the community outside of paid employment. The photographs below show her receiving her award from the Mayor of Weymouth and Portland Mr Paul Kimber and with others who recieved awards at the same ceremony.