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Charitable help for essential household items?

Sky12 Posts: 14 Forumite
PPI Party Pooper
Our 16 year old fridge freezer is dying on us, but we cannot afford to replace it due to vastly reduced income in the past 18 months. We don't qualify for any benefits (couple in 50s, no children), spend only on essential items (bills, rent, food etc) and Step Change have advised that our expenditure technically outstrips our income by £444 monthly (we don't actually budget for many items they suggest, such as clothes repairs etc as we can't afford to). We have personal debt that is being paid off in token £1 monthly sums, so can't get credit but it looks like we are high and dry as we won't qualify for any of the government emergency payments.

We can't be the only household in such a situation. Does anyone know of any other charities that may be able to help? (Our second hand sofa is also knackered, but we can't afford to replace that either and would assume that, unlike the fridge freezer, it would be seen as a non essential item).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


  • whitewing
    whitewing Posts: 11,852 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Have you joined your local freecycle?
    :heartsmil When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of "Me too!" be sure to cherish them. Because these weirdos are your true family.
  • McKneff
    McKneff Posts: 38,834 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    It is a non essential item.

    Thousands of people live without them every day. I never saw a fridge in our house till I was 18.

    Put up an SOA and we will try and help you budget better so you may be able to afford to buy one on interest free credit.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • OpDawn2
    OpDawn2 Posts: 29 Forumite
    Agreed with McKneff. Time to get moneywise and foodwise!
  • Katiehound
    Katiehound Posts: 7,620 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    In my area there is a charity which accepts donations of furniture, does them up/mends if required and then sells them at a very modest price (it was set up to help people after flooding.) I don't think they take white goods. We also have a food bank run by the local churches.
    I can only suggest that you ask around locally.
    Look in the small ads in the local paper? Sometimes people get new kitchens and the appliances they already have are in good condition but they get thrown out/ sold off cheap.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything! --
    Many thanks
    -Stash bust:in 2022:337
    Stash bust :2023. 120duvets, 24 bags, 43 dog coats, 2 scrunchies, 10 mittens, 6 bootees, 8 glass cases, 2 A6 notebooks, 59 cards, 6 lav bags,36 angels,9 bones, 1 knee blanket, 1 lined bag,3 owls, 88 pyramids = total 420 total spend £5. Total for 'Dogs for Good' £546.82

    2024:23 Doggy duvets,30 pyramids, 6 hottie covers, 4 knit hats,13 crochet angels,1 shopper, 87cards=164 £88.25 spent!!!
  • forgotmyname
    forgotmyname Posts: 32,576 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    I hope the charities are not as fussy as the heart foundation furniture shop.

    I popped in and told them exactly what we had, Old fashioned proper wood wardrobe, dresser/ draws etc. Double bed and a few other bits and pieces.

    When they arrived they said they couldnt take the wardrobe etc. Couldnt take the bed because the mattress didn't match.
    BUT they would take the mattress which was almost new and very expensive. But who would buy a mattress that wont match their bed i asked.. No reply.

    They left with nothing. With no time left to arrange for someone else to collect i had to smash it all apart and take it down the rubbish tip.

    What a waste. Made me angry because i told them exactly what we had when we arranged the collection.
    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • kingfisherblue
    British Heart Foundation were exactly the same with me a few years ago. I rang to say I had a tall, dark wood corner unit with a wooden door on the bottom half and a glass door on the top. They came out, as arranged, but refused to take it as they 'didn't know if it would sell'. A local charity were pleased to receive it instead.
  • RuthnJasper
    RuthnJasper Posts: 4,032 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    whitewing wrote: »
    Have you joined your local freecycle?

    As Whitewing says; I cannot recommend Freecycle highly enough.

    I've used it for things I needed and things I could pass on for others to use. An idea that REALLY works.

    Good luck OP - best wishes to you. x
  • laurel7172
    laurel7172 Posts: 2,071 Forumite
    Try the local paper. Someone in mine is selling a fridge for £30. Also keep an eye on the local ebay sales through the distance app on this site. I bought a cheap freezer that way.
    import this
  • snookey
    snookey Posts: 1,128 Forumite
    Hi try your local gumtree. We were given a nearly new oven by a guy renovating his kitchen.
    Also have a look at places you have worked as some companies have hardship grants for present and ex employees.
    Ebay also advertises free goods.
  • lollipopsarah
    Try calling your local council, when we moved we got a whacking great big fridge freezer for just over a £100 and delivered too from their recycle scheme thing we also got two wardrobes for about the same price and they also took away our old ones (too large).
    Life sucks doesn't it, I thought things would get easier in my 50's - pah!
    Best wishes.
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