ALTHOUGH there are many success stories to have emerged from the pandemic over the last 18 months, there are others which still face a very uncertain future.
For Ann Daly and her business Second Generation Furnishings the battle to remain open is continuing despite her worries that they may not survive to the end of the year.
Based in Stalybridge, the registered charity collects, renovates and re-sells donated household furniture to people who are unable to pay the market price.
But the fallout of coronavirus has hit the business particularly hard, and even despite restrictions now lifting their fight for survival has only become much harder.
Ann said: “This whole saga has been horrendous for us. We’ve lost so much money and so many customers. I don’t know why, but I can only think it’s because they’re afraid to go out.
“We hardly get anyone coming in, and with the road also blocked right outside our door it has caused further problems because people have nowhere to park. It’s an ongoing nightmare.
“Even with restrictions starting to lift we’ve seen no difference to our situation had we still been in lockdown.
“Our lease is up in October and if rent is needed we won’t make it to the end of the year.
“We’re a not-for-profit organisation so any money we do make goes straight back into the charity, and we’re not anywhere near as comfortable financially as we were before all this.”
Opened in 2010, Second Generation Furnishings also provides starter packs for people and families who are moving into new homes and who need the basics while they settle in.
Ann continued: “The idea came about because I saw someone moving into their first flat and they had, literally, nothing to get them started.
“So, it got me thinking about when people get rid of their old furniture and how we could maybe put it to better use for others who are struggling.
“It really caught traction and we had loads of offers of donations and people referring us, not just furniture but other things like cutlery, duvet covers, towels, pots and pans.
“I would be devastated if, after all the work we’ve put in over the years, we had to close down.
“We are very passionate about our cause and there are so many people who value what we do.”
One of the charity’s aims has always been to be zero waste and cut the amount of furniture and white goods going to landfill. In 2020, they saved 16,785kg going to landfill, despite being closed for 12 weeks due to the pandemic.
• If you would like to help Second Generation Furnishings with donations or find out more about what they do, call 0161 303 0083 or find them on Facebook.