Skip to content

Bath furniture poverty scheme extended for another year

By Bea SwallowBBC News, Somerset

Bath furniture poverty scheme extended for another yearCuro Eddy playing the guitar while sitting on a sofa next to a window, with a coffee table in front of himCuro

Eddy Allen was homeless when he entered into the pilot scheme

An initiative which provides essential home furnishings to those in need has been extended for another year.

The Cosy Start scheme provides residents who lack furniture in Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) with household items such as carpets, white goods, bedding and kitchen appliances.

The project is run by Bath-based housing association Curo, and is funded by social enterprise Fusion 21 and community charity St John’s Foundation.

It focuses on people facing disruption to their lives, such as refugees, those fleeing domestic abuse, or people moving into accommodation after being homeless.

Bath furniture poverty scheme extended for another yearGetty Images A cardboard moving box on the floor of an empty roomGetty Images

The project provides a range of essential household items

Furniture poverty is defined as the inability to access, afford or maintain household items that are essential to achieving a socially acceptable standard of living.

David Hobdey, CEO of St John’s Foundation, said: “Moving into a property with no furniture can be socially isolating and lead residents to resort to debt, which can quickly spiral and ultimately jeopardise the tenancy.

“Living without essential household appliances also significantly increases household bills. Removing this cause of stress has an extremely positive impact on individuals and families.”

Bath furniture poverty scheme extended for another yearGetty Images Two people moving a sofa up a flight of stairsGetty Images

The scheme helps people create a home of their own

Musician Eddy Allen began using the service last May after experiencing periodic homelessness.

Curo entered Mr Allen into the scheme after offering him an unfurnished apartment in Bath, as he had very few belongings.

“I think I was the first person to do it, at least in Bath,” Mr Allen said.

“It’s a really great scheme. No way would I have been able to afford any type of new white goods when I moved in.

“I would’ve had to look on Facebook marketplace and then somehow find transport to pick it up. I was homeless at the time, it would have really been a struggle.”

Mr Allen said the scheme had offered him stability and given him more time to focus on “being calm, creative and grounded”.