Furniture Help Scheme

The primary aim of CDFHS is to provide any individual in need with low-cost, affordable items - primarily furniture, but our scope has expanded in recent years to include all types of household items.

We collect free of charge, repair and redistribute items from the County Durham area which would otherwise go into landfill, while also making available thousands of items of furniture and household goods every year to people from the region. We are widely recognised for our positive environmental impact and helped save some 150 tonnes of items from entering the refuse system in the last year alone!


Training & Employment

At County Durham Furniture Help Scheme we believe in giving more to the community and so we provide the chance to learn key skills at our establishment from carpentry through to IT tech.

Whether you volunteer or are here on placement we guarantee that you will leave with valuable experience (that all employers look for) and some new skills to add to your CV. This also includes a one-to-one session with our Training and Employment Coordinator, Steve Mitton, who will craft a tailor made CV for you.


White Goods Project

We, at CDFHS, have realised there is a massive need for white goods and so our White Goods Project has been set in place to take reusable white goods and perform a thorough inspection test and maintenance so that perfectly fine items can be reused by you, the community.

So please don't scrap that old washing machine donate it to us and the help the community today.

Computer Services

Our Computer Services department specialises in computer repairs and maintenance.

Come to us for computer repairs for a very low cost or to buy a pre-built machine for your own personal needs. Also as an added perk of being a volunteer you could walk away with a free PC if you meet the requirements necessary. Any donations of old computers are also welcomed or even any spare parts you may have lying around in a reasonable condition.

Community RePaint

Community RePaint schemes collect reusable, leftover paint and re-distribute it to individuals, families, communities and charities in need, improving the well-being of people and the appearance of places across the UK.

We ask you to come down to the warehouse and have a look at the stock we currently have and pay a small donation for any paint you would like.


Rural Refurb

The project will enable the organisation to refurbish waste goods, primarily furniture items, to provide training and work experience for individuals from rural and economically deprived areas.

Training will include: Stripping of paint, varnish, sanding, minor woodwork, use of tools, general hand skills and repainting and spraying. Individuals would be taken through a full range of activities as part of a structured experience-gaining programme, and their progress documented.

Find out more about the project here >>


The ReBike Scheme has been set in motion thanks to our funders and partners at Local Motion Darlington to help provide and maintain bicycles for the community. This includes helping promote healthier and cleaner alternatives to driving.

As a service we will offer bicycle maintenance for a small donation and also will collect and accept bicycle donations for refurbishment and resale to the community.

Waste & Weeco

CDFHS is well known as a recycler and re-user of household goods. Lesser well known is our commitment to dealing with current UK and European legislation in respect of Waste Electrical Products – WEEE.

By law companies and individuals have a responsibility for its safe disposal. In cooperation with AVC Weeeco in 2012 CDFHS set to acquiring some of the key Environmental accreditation to assist in our developing this activity.

  • alt text

    Student sale day

    On Saturday the 30th of September we are having a student sale day. This is an excellent opportunity to pick up new and used furniture at bargain prices as well as other amenities. The sale will run from 10:00 AM to 16:00 PM.

    As with last year's student sale, transportation and refreshments will be catered to by us where needed and necessary. More information to follow or contact us at 01388 721509

  • alt text

    Green Move Out

    Every year during the summer, thousands of students move between properties or away from Durham and Stockton. During this time a large amount of waste is generated in our Colleges and in the local area. The Green Move Out Scheme is a partnership between Durham University, Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary and County Durham Furniture Help Scheme (CDFHS) which aims to reduce waste and to support local charities including County Durham Furniture Help Scheme, Durham Palestine Educational Trust, East Durham Trust and A Way Out.

    Click here for more info.

  • alt text

    Loyalty Cards

    Join our ever growing number of loyalty card holding customers today and receive a whopping 5% discount on all purchases.

    Ask in store for the details today!

    Click to learn more.

  • alt text

    NE First Credit Union

    From February the 2nd we will be operating on behalf of NE First Credit Union. We are operating as a collection centre. We are gaining the expertise to be able to look at coordinating affordable finance with people's purchases of goods on our premises.

    Credit Union finance / loans are much more affordable than “doorstep” lenders or the supposed high street sellers this is a really great opportunity to give battered finances a break and to secure affordable goods funded by your personally arranged affordable finance – ring Front Office on 01388-721509.

  • alt text

    New Electricals Here Now!

    We are now stocking a range of NEW WHITEGOODS, included in the range are Montpellier Branded Cookers, Washing Machines and Drying equipment.

    We also have a range of Iceking Freezers, fridges and underbench frideges / freezers for single people or couples. Please contact us for more details – ring Front Office on 01388-721509.

    We are offering prices well below that of the standard retailers and of course combined with Re-used furniture and other items can offer significant savings in these hard pressed times.

  • alt text

    Community transport scheme

    Are you looking for some quality, reused furniture but unable to travel there easily due to health/disability related problems, lack of transport, etc.?

    Monkey is providing free transport to and from County Durham Furniture Help Scheme, Chilton, to help those who couldn’t otherwise get there.

    This offer is available to both private and social housing tenants in County Durham and there is no obligation to buy anything when you arrive. To arrange a lift contact the Monkey team on 01388 424697 or ring our front office on 01388-721509.

    Find Out More

  • alt text

    Paypal Donations

    We now have a button on our website so you can donate to us online. Your donations will help us continue to do what we do best. Together, we can continue to serve and help everbody we can.

  • alt text

    Profound Services

    Do you require crucial work experience and skills that employers desire?

    Have you applied for many vacancies and attended interviews but haven’t gained employment?

    County Durham Furniture Help Scheme and Profound Services are working in Partnership to deliver the Leading Edge Traineeship.

    Read More

  • alt text

    Need help writing CVs, cover letters, new claims to Job Seeker's Allowance/ Universal Credit, or just general job search guidence and advice?

    Stop by on Thursdays for our job search club and get the help you need. See the contact page for our address.

CDFHS Quarterly Report

It’s been an eventful year for CDFHS.

We had the sudden Death of my Late Husband Ray Brown (Our Chair of Trustees) December last who was our MD, which totally shocked and devastated myself and everybody who knew him. CDFHS has played a big part in our lives since we set it up with Chris Palmer in 2004 (we met and married within the first year). Although we have had a lot of time away from the premises during my Husbands illness, we were both still heavily involved with the running of it. Since my Husband’s death I have gradually taken on the role as MD as my passion and commitment for CDFHS to expand more and to be able to help even more people who need our help, is as strong as it was in 2004. I am assuming our AGM in October will confirm this.

Once again our team of volunteers and workers have contributed greatly to the continuing success of CDFHS and I would like to say a wholehearted thank you for their time, hard work and also for the unwavering support from all staff and volunteers, from those who knew Ray well and from those who’d only just met or just heard about him.

We got funding from Northstar Ventures via their North East Social Investment Fund (NESIF) to help us to acquire our own premises. We had the perfect building all lined up, ready to sign on the dotted line when we were gazumped and it all fell through. It was very disheartening for everybody at CDFHS but we are continuing the search for suitable premises or land to build on.

The result for the year being a slight loss of £5,000 which was fully indicative of the costs of the abortive building purchase. The turnover being nearly half a million, compared to the previous year of £357,000 an increase of 35%.

Once again, we have seen a continued increase in demand for our services we have moved an estimated average of 35 Metric tonnes per month of reusable material diverted from waste landfill sites. We’ve had 13,657 visitors through the door

We’ve also had a very bumpy road so far this year, as with the economy being the way it is and with the sanctions being imposed on already disadvantaged clients. Things were very quiet just after Christmas. Welfare Assistance has been erratic week by week, as well as customer numbers rising and dropping equally so. We’ve also had quite a few hefty repair bills for the vans this quarter. We are also tabling a new proposal for Welfare Assistance working in collaboration with Northstar Ventures, N E First Credit Union and Durham County Council.

We have broadened out not just our domestic goods supply but in some cases we are fitting out complete houses, including the internal decorating or general “handyman” work which in turn is giving some of our workers/volunteers more experience under their belts.

We value the employability scheme that we operate and are working on several initiatives, such as Destination, partnered with Cornforth Partnership and with the Durhamworks Project and our Local Authority.

We do a Job Search Club on a Tuesdays and Thursday to help and assist people to get back onto the ladder of employability.

Working with Shaw Trust will find us teaming up to offer those with multiple barriers in their lives earn employment for often for the first

time. We work closely with their local people to achieve these outcomes in a first class partnering structure.

We are still providing a daily substantial meal for volunteers, placements and workers alike. In certain cases it makes all the difference to them having a good hot meal to not having anything at all.

Shabby Chic has done really well, we are now doing bespoke garden furniture out of the wooden pallets.

Our IT Department has also continued to grow with the Charity and has provided a bespoke tracking system for CDFHS for the donations coming in and going out of the Charity. It will also incorporate the facilities for Gift Aid and for the use of Debit/Credit Cards for the first time since we’ve been running. We also introduced our Loyalty Card which is doing really well.

I would also like to mention our collaboration with the Durham Foodbank Movement, which so far this year has given us invaluable activity sorting industrial scale amounts of food for distribution to the 28 county wide foodbanks. Which sadly has become a fact of life for the majority of families on benefits and low incomes.

Please make a donation to the box we have here on site today.

I would like to thank our Trusted Partners and of course our Customers, who without we wouldn’t be where we are today.

We are partners with Durham County Council, D.A.D, G.F.W, Durham University, Croxdale Fast Fit, Wrap, Local Motion, Monkey, Profound Services, Great Annual Savings, Proctor and Gamble, Kier Construction, Durham Christian Partnership, Cornforth Partnership, Shaw Trust, Durham Food Bank, Durham County Council, Business Durham Area, Action Partnerships, Durhamworks Advice in County Durham, WA Smith, Community Repaint, J Denhams Metals, Pioneering Care Partnership Team, Wearside, New Walk CIC, Northumbria University, National Career Service, N.E. First, Newton News, Ferryhill and Chilton Chapter. I apologise to any that I may have missed off and it’s not intentional.

Durham, WA Smith, Community Repaint, J Denhams Metals, Pioneering Care Partnership Team, Wearside, New Walk CIC, Northumbria University, National Career Service, N.E. First, Newton News, Ferryhill and Chilton Chapter. I apologise to any that I may have missed off and it’s not intentional.

One of our front office staff is undergoing training on Advice and Guidance and is on ‘attachment’ to Citizens Advice Bureau. Eventually we hope to be a one stop service hub so we can offer more help and assistance to those who are financially excluded.

We still have a very good track record of our staff/volunteers of acquiring good employability skills with better prospects of future employment. 215 enrolled on the scheme and 70 (33%) that we know of have been took into employment. Well done again to our employability team!

The University work went to plan with the street collections being 1.5 metric tonnes and the Colleges having a total of nearly 400 bags which was just over 19 metric tonnes of belongings donated to CDFHS. Many going to other causes, helping CDFHS funds and providing a large amount of work for volunteers and trainees to carry out from June to October. This activity runs till October which culminates in a student sale day

Once again our team of Trustees, Management, Volunteers and Workers have contributed greatly to the continuing success of CDFHS by helping to generate alternative methods of funding the Charity. Helping us to thrive and grow becoming a Frontline Charity when most are struggling and closing down.

So I would like to thank them again for their time and hard work. It doesn’t go unnoticed and it is appreciated.

-Managing Director of CDFHS, Diane Brown

For earlier posts please check the CDFHS archive

Opening Times

We are only closed on Sundays and holidays so please pay us a visit!

Monday - Friday
9:00am - 4:00pm

10:30am - 3:00pm

Cash-Based Donations

We operate as a cash based charity, which means that when you want to donate or select something from our stock, we are only able to accept cash.