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Celebrating Social Enterprises

To celebrate Social Enterprise Day, we’re highlighting Ipswich Furniture project who have been  ‘trading for a social purpose’ for over 30 years in Suffolk!

Ipswich Furniture Project (IFP) is a furniture re-use charity providing affordable, good quality furniture, white goods and other household items to low income households in Ipswich and the surrounding area. The charity is structured and managed to be financially sustainable, earning most of its income from the items it sells in the shop, or that are purchased by organisations and charities that support people in need.

As a result of the COVID-19 emergency the charity has never been busier, continuing to deliver furniture and essential household items, as well as installing white goods such as cookers, washing machines and fridge/freezers. IFP has recently taken over a new shop on Westgate Street in Ipswich town centre, this is in addition to its existing store on St Matthews Street. This means they have even more space to store and display items, enabling customers to view and choose the items they want.

Chief Executive Bob Whitehead has worked for the charity for over 25 years and understands not only the needs of the charity’s beneficiaries but also the organisations that help fund many of the items they supply. He has created a model that enables the charity to sell items to any member of the public visiting their shops but one that allows reduced ticket prices for people on low incomes.

The charity has three distinct aims:

  1. To reduce waste through reuse
  2. To help people in need by providing essential household items
  3. To provide employment and volunteer opportunities to people disadvantaged in the workplace

To find out more about the charity’s work visit their website: