Beautifully upcycled furniture for your home, from someone without one.

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How it works

We start with a piece of unwanted, shabby-without-the-chic furniture, and we give our friends the skills to upcycle it. At RENU, not only do our students get to be creative, but we’re giving them a platform to work, gain confidence and employability skills. This gives them genuine employment opportunities, as well as a chance to talk to someone who listens. These are huge things when you’ve been sleeping on the streets of Manchester - and it’s amazing to see the transformation at the end.

RENU is based at the Message Enterprise Centre in Sharston, where our students are taught how to renovate donated furniture items by restoring them into beautiful and sought-after pieces. We also give our homeless friends the opportunity to work on specially commissioned items – something our students can put their heart and soul into.  

 “I've never been told that I'm really good at something that I've never done before.”

— James Hague

 

Who we help

We help people like Jim, who joined the RENU project after living on the streets for a long time. At RENU, he took a discarded table broken in two and glued it back together, sanded it down, painted it – painted it again – waxed it and perfected it. By the end of it, the table was completely renovated – and Jim was a changed man too. It’s hard to imagine the pride he felt when it sold for £100 in a silent auction.

Not only do we help people, we help the environment too. The upcycling project offers a sustainable solution for unwanted furniture, and in the future, we hope to collaborate with passionate artists and students to design unique art from items that would otherwise go to landfill or waste.

Here at RENU, we get to interact with other businesses who are staffed with ex-offenders and those recovering from addiction. We believe this creates an inspirational environment that’ll encourage our friends to move away from the streets and start a journey like those employed around them.

“I had nothing when I came to Barnabus and now I have accommodation, friends and a reason to get out of bed every day – thank you so much.”

The bigger vision

We’re excited to see how RENU is developing and to watch the positive impact it has on the homeless men and women who visit us. We are currently open for 3 days a week in a rented workshop, but we hope to open 5-6 days of the week in a space that also includes a storage area, sales room and of course, parking facilities - we’d love to have a café too! We hold showcase events, exhibitions and workshops to celebrate the workmanship and art that goes into creating these beautifully crafted design pieces. All of this comes together so that we can reach out and raise awareness in the community of social enterprise employment opportunities.

 

How you can help

One of the main ways you can help is to buy a piece of RENU furniture. You’ll gain a beautiful item that carries a meaningful story and you’ll give our students so much more pride and hope. !!SHOP NOW!!

There’s so many other things you can do to get involved – whether that’s a monthly donation, a one-off gift, or by giving us your unwanted furniture, art or canvasses. You can even sponsor a student to attend our class, or become one of our corporate partners.

This all helps to pay for tutoring, rent, materials and equipment and will ultimately make our bigger vision a reality - creating a more sustainable future for the homeless.

To find out more, please contact [email protected]