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Manchester Furniture Show supports local social enterprise scheme.

t4Organisers of the Manchester Furniture Show (Manchester Central 19-21 July) are supporting a new and local social enterprise scheme known as Transformers. The scheme sees unemployed young people transform old or discarded furniture into new pieces, which are then sold.

Local, City West Housing Trust organise the scheme, which is partly funded by grant from the Royal Bank of Scotland. Groups of 10-15 unemployed young people aged 18-24 (both male and female), who are interested in a future in the furniture industry undergo a 10 week training course, learning both practical and business skills.

Discarded and unwanted furniture is sourced from local council or housing association properties. It is then transformed by the students - either by deconstruction and remodelling, or by altering the appearance with paint or other finishes. The students also create new pieces from pallets donated by building or other organisations.

The furniture created ranges from shabby chic to smart garden furniture and includes, chairs, bookcases, coffee tables, garden benches and plant troughs.

The furniture is sold by listing it on the internal staff website, reaching over 600 members of staff. It is also sold by listing it on Ebay. Each week there is a ‘Piece of the Week’ for sale and over 10 pieces have been sold so far.

The Manchester Furniture Show is delighted to support this very worthwhile scheme. Event Director Laraine Janes said, “It is great for the furniture industry that young people with an interest in a creative or business future in furniture, get a chance that they otherwise might not have. We are delighted to support this very worthwhile Scheme and think visitors to the Show will be surprised at the resourcefulness and imagination shown by the students work.”

The Transformers stand will be in the Main Hall and course leader Eric McBean will be on hand to assist the students.