Get involved – become a volunteer

Do you have some spare time and are you enthusiastic about helping people? Are you trying to get back into work and gain new skills? Would you like to meet new people and be part of a team?

We are fortunate at the Richmond Furniture Scheme to have a good team of volunteers offering a range of skills.  However, we are always on the lookout for more. We are looking for administrative help, sales assistants, carpenters, cleaners, drivers, gardeners, warehouse assistants, up-cyclers and upholsterers.

If you would like to help in one of the many roles available or if you have other skills that you think might be useful, please contact us.

View from the Workshop

Hi, I’m Andy, volunteer carpenter in the Scheme’s workshop. I come in on a Tuesday along with my fellow volunteer Rob to do repairs and renovations on the donated furniture as well as execute occasional commissions for members of the public. We also adapt unsaleable items to be more useful, or for Carousel to paint and upcycle. The workshop is obviously used by other members of staff too, notably our drivers Joe and Rob (another Rob of many) who construct mainly garden furniture using spare timber from our wood store.

Our typical day will consist almost inevitably of a few kitchen or dining chairs whose joints need re-glueing, chests of drawers needing new runners, or drawers that don’t run and replacing legs on anything that usually has them. We spend a lot of time sanding and re-finishing the sadly mistreated tops of tables, chests and cupboards and taking on the woodworm. There’s a lot of clamping.

Although neither Rob nor I are trained restorers, over the years we have taught ourselves how to take on a wide range of repairs. Rob is now the reluctant glass cutting and repair expert as well as mastering the dark arts of caning. I seem to have a weakness for lost causes especially those requiring remaking of parts to match the original. Both of us find it good fun and very satisfying…it’s a joy to rescue a fine old piece of furniture from landfill or even to get an Ikea wardrobe to stand upright.