The stylish modernist lobby of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill is adorned with a striking upcycled Christmas tree this Winter. Bearing the message “no-one should be without a comfy bed”, the bedslat tree is the work of local charity Hastings & Rother Furniture Service.

The plinth doubles as a collecting pot for donations to help the charity provide essential furniture for local families in desperate need.

“We’ve seen families that have had to pile old cardboard on the floor for their kids to sleep on, and been really proud to deliver affordable reused beds for them.” says Pea Crabtree, the creative behind the tree and a full-time worker for HFS.

Pea Crabtree

The tree is made from broken and bowed bed-slats we can’t reuse. We hope it will make people think about how furniture poverty affects families in our area. No-one should be without something as crucial as a bed.

In recent years the government has slashed funding for Local Welfare Assistance schemes. In East Sussex, support to help families in crisis set up home fell from £1.2m in 2013 to £166,000 in 2018. This drastic cut (over 86%) means charities like HFS are no longer funded to provide furniture for people in crisis, such as families moving on from temporary accommodation, Refuges or homelessness.

The report published this week by Sussex Community Foundation underlines the need for services like these. The report, Sussex Uncovered, says 37,000 children in Sussex are living in poverty and reports massive increases in homelessness in Hastings and Rother.

We hope people will donate to help HFS meet the needs of people in our community. Please pop a donation in to the tree at DLWP, into your local HFS store, and please think of us if you are replacing furniture or electricals at home. We provide a free collection service for good, reusable home items throughout Hastings and Rother.

No-one should be without a bed.

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