1988 - FURNITURE RESOURCE CENTRE
Furniture Resource Centre was created in 1988 in Liverpool to basically take furniture from people who didn't want it anymore and give it to people who needed it. And that is at the heart of everything we do to this day.
We looked at ways to get more furniture to more people and decided to start speaking to social landlords to encourage them to provide more furnished tenancies. To make it easier for them, we decided to start selling new furniture to them and we now work with social landlords all across the country, selling furniture for furnished tenancies and shared living accommodation such as hostels, as well as supplying furniture to several local authority Local Welfare Provision schemes.
2000 - BULKY BOB'S
Meanwhile we continued work with preloved furniture and in 2000 we won the contract to collect Liverpool City Council's bulky household waste, and created Bulky Bob's. We still retain the contract and also collect bulky household waste for Oldham and Bolton councils. These contracts are a great way for us to get hold of lots of good quality preloved furniture, much of which we give away through our extensive crisis referral network.
2010 - BULKY BOB'S FURNITURE WORLD
We opened a preloved furniture store in Liverpool city centre in 2010 and Bulky Bob's Furniture World is now a thriving shop selling a wide range of preloved furniture and many of our crisis referral customers receive a voucher so they can enjoy the dignity of 'shopping' for their furniture.
2015 - BUCKINGHAM INTERIORS
In 2015 we created a new brand, Buckingham Interiors, to sell new furniture and interior design to the senior living market. Buckingham Interiors is grown rapidly and works with customers across the country.
2015 - END FURNITURE POVERTY
We formally launched End Furniture Poverty in 2015 to raise awareness of Furniture Poverty, to educate people about the potential solutions to Furniture Poverty and, ultimately, to ensure that everyone has access to the essential furniture and goods they need to lead a secure life.
2017 - BULKY BOB'S OFFICE & COMMERCIAL WASTE
We created Bulky Bob's Office & Commercial Waste in 2017 to provide a wide range of commercial waste services, including confidential shredding, office recycling and general waste. Our customer base is steadily growing and we provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to procure essential services from a social enterprise.
Over the years we have also developed our training programme, a key part of our charitable mission. Our rigourous social value measurement helped us to understand that our 12-month fixed term training programme aimed at long-term unemployed people could create more social impact if we opened it up to everyone as we recognised that many people work and still live in poverty. We also decided to tailor the programme to the individual so it is now anything from three months to 2 years, depending on the needs of the trainee. Over 450 people have completed Driving Change with the vast majority moving into secure and permanent jobs.
FRC Group is now a collection of leading social businesses, all commercially successful, all not-for-profit, and giving people in poverty and unemployment the opportunity to change their lives. We are continually looking for new ways to create practical solutions to get furniture to people who need it and to create sustainable livelihoods and futures for people.