All too often at Gateway Furniture, the collective strength of our staff and our ability to provide a service that meets the needs of the people in and around Swindon is tested, in what seems like series after series of challenges and obstacles to overcome.
Sometimes, if demand is high for certain items, we may run out and clients can be left with no other option. One lady recently went into debt to buy a washing machine because we had none remaining, and she couldn’t afford to buy one outright. This is the kind of situation that we try to prevent as much as possible, but occasionally it can happen.
Donations of appliances and white goods are extremely important. We have a growing list of clients, many of which have young families, who are sometimes on hold for weeks with no cooker, fridge or washing machine. An example of one such client was a lady who had a toddler and was having to put the milk outside in the back garden in an effort to chill it. As a desperate measure, we gave her a table-top fridge to use until a regular fridge was donated.
Trials and tough times were prevalent over one recent weekend, when all the Gateway Furniture staff had something go wrong in their personal life, a lady we worked with closely ended up in the womens refuge, and the mother of two people who stayed with Dawn and Kevin Prosser for six months sadly passed away.
Not long after this, a man came to our café at The Gate, broke down in tears and asked us if we’d help him. His mother had passed back in February, he’d had alcohol dependency issues since 15, and he had been left on the streets by his family. In addition, the government had stated that he should be working, and cut his benefits.
Dawn Prosser was able to direct him to where he needed to go next, kept him company and together they were able to find him a bed, of which he hadn’t had in 8 weeks. The next day they planned for him to start a detoxification program, for the first time ever.
Despite these struggles… we carry on. And, with your donations, we can give – even when the going gets tough.