CT Furniture has been working with Bridge Northumberland since 2018. Bridge Northumberland is a voluntary programme who help those out of work overcome some of the barriers to training, education and employment.

They look to improve the confidence of Northumberland residents, those aged 16 and over by developing their skills and moving them towards gaining employment and finding new opportunities including volunteer work-placements.

CT Furniture relies on the help and support of volunteer workers, to help deliver the day-to-day running of the furniture stores and its passenger transport services. The charity aims to bring people and opportunities together to help transform lives and build better local communities.

The charity has several volunteer opportunities roles available and are always looking for help from those who have the time and are looking to make a difference in the local community. Roles can include working as a driver mate on the accessible minibuses or working in the store as a shop warehouse assistant, through to making a difference by helping with the social media for the online retail store.

Volunteering with CT provides an opportunity to learn new work-based transferable skills that can help when it comes to finding a job. There is also the opportunity to build confidence by meeting new friends and being part of something worthwhile.

Carrie Brookes, Communications Officer at Bridge Northumberland says: “Volunteering is a great chance to improve skills and future prospects by gaining transferable skills for the workplace. We’ve worked with CT Furniture for a few years now and have built up a great relationship, helping place Bridge participants into volunteering roles at the shop and warehouse. Some of our Bridge participants need a little extra help taking their first steps, which is why we offer free supported volunteering."

Michael Patterson, CT Furniture Business Development Assistant said: “I have great admiration for the work Bridge does in the local communities it serves. The help and support its staff give to individuals with barriers to work which can include mental health issues, money problems, lacking in digital skills or access to devices, can only be commended. The dedication and commitment Bridge staff have towards their clients is one of the reasons why CT Furniture will continue to be an ongoing working partner, as I'm proud to say that our organisation shares these same values.”

He continued: “Bridge staff have worked tirelessly in promoting the services CT Furniture offers to their clients, staff and other local partnerships. We have taken many volunteer referrals from Bridge and every single one has been a pleasure to work with.  There have been many challenges along the way but having worked closely with them to overcome any problems that have arisen, we always found a way forward with each individual, who has ultimately, gone on to enjoy their time with us.

CT Furniture values all its volunteers and will continue to support, develop and uphold our duty of care to anybody who joins our organisation. Volunteers are the core of our charity’s success and without them, we would not be the organisation we are today. I would just like to thank all Bridge staff for their ongoing support and look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship.”   

More information about Bridge Northumberland can be found at: www.bridgenorthumberland.org.uk|