THE chairman of the Forfar Resource Store has confirmed the Don Street based charity has put in a tender bid with Angus Council for the contract to supply used furniture and starter packs for those in need throughout Angus.
Angus Councillor Glennis Middleton told the Dispatch and Herald she hoped their bid would “hopefully see us continue the very successful service that we have offered to the people of Angus over the years.”
Confirmation of the resource store’s bid followed the announcement that three local charities have come together to bid for the council contract - The Furniture Recycling Project Angus and Starter Packs Angus, both based in Arbroath, and Montrose and Area Furniture Recycling and Distribution (which have formed the Angus Consortium of Recycling Charities).
Last month Angus Council invited tenders for used furniture and starter packs for needy council tenants. It estimates that it will have to house 350 households with no furniture or household goods of their own, in the coming year, 50 more than it thought in November.
Andrew Dawson, chairman of the Furniture Recycling Project said: “Members of the new consortium have been supplying the council for years. We can kit out the average family at a cost to the council of less than £500.
“But now we are being asked to compete against firms from across the European Union. Angus Council seems to want a single supplier, doing the job for half the money.
“The three charities have long been supported by the people of Angus. Rather than throw things away, Angus folk have given us 140 tonnes of furniture and appliances a year. We also get crockery, cutlery, pots and pans, and bed linen for people in need.
“Between us, the consortium employs twelve people part-time, and gives work experience and on-the-job training to 40 volunteers, most of whom are hoping to move on into paid jobs. If we lose the contract, many of these opportunities may go.”
However, the Forfar Resource Store has decided to put in a separate bid which councillor Middleton hopes will find favour with the local authority.
She said: “Forfar Resource Store was the first in Angus to offer this facility. In the last year we have received 415 tonnes of donations, the great majority of which have subsequently been delivered to those who were in need of our service.
“We receive donations from throughout Angus and have always delivered throughout Angus.
“We are in the very fortunate position that we receive so many donations of such high quality that we have never had to purchase items to give out to those who need.”
She pointed out the store in Don Street had recently undergone a refurbishment and is currently having an extension built.
She also highlighted the important community role the store plays.
She continued: “We have placements from Noranside Prison and work closely with the Criminal Justice Service where we have people on community service and from the new community pay-back scheme.
“These people quite often remain as volunteers after they have served their hours.
“We are channelling people through to a better life through their involvement.
“Those people from Noranside or those who have done community service with us and who continue to do volunteer work with us always leave with a good reference in the hope their experience with us finds them in better circumstances and hopefully employment.
“The Forfar Resource Store is a huge community effort.
“There are those who are donating, there is the other section of the community receiving and in the middle of all that we have our community service people and our volunteers who work very, very hard.”
Referring to the consortium comprising the charities from Arbroath and Montrose, councillor Middleton stated the Forfar Resource Store had been approached by the group.
She continued: “After consideration, and given the very successful history of the Forfar Resource Store, we felt that we were well placed to submit our own tender bid.
“We are carrying on as usual, in the meantime, and hope to win part of the tender, if not all of it.
“But all of our very good friends in Angus should know that, whatever the outcome, Forfar Resource Store will continue to provide a service.”
The deadline for tenders passed last week and a decision by Angus Council is expected at the start of April.