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Many people take for granted the fact that they have a bed to sleep in, a sofa to sit on, wardrobes to hang their clothes in, a table to eat off; but the fact is, many people are without these basic items in their home.
Spencer Contact is organised and run by local Christians who desire to express God’s love to all people by meeting needs and enhancing their lives. We work to relieve those in poverty and hardship in and around Northampton by supplying free second-hand furniture. To do this, we collect furniture and household goods that are no longer required and then supply them to people in need, after making sure they are cleaned and in good condition.
We desire to meet the requests of all those who contact us for help regardless of the cause of their hardship and without discrimination, not needing proof of benefits or specific referrals from agencies or services (although we do accept such referrals). All referrals are met on a strict, non-prejudicial, first-come, first-served basis.
The help we give ranges from families being given all the furniture needed to furnish their house, along with bedding packs, curtains, crockery, cutlery, kitchen utensils, lampshades, mirrors and other smaller items, to those just needing the odd piece of furniture to replace items which have been broken. Having a properly furnished home is often a key factor in providing a stable environment in which families and children can live.
Northampton is the third biggest town in the UK, with a population of over 212,000 people. According to a recent survey from the NHS Department of Health, Northampton’s deprivation is higher than the average in England and about 9,200 children live in poverty.
The need in Northampton was first realised in the mid-1990s, where a local church in the Spencer area saw that people were in desperate need of furniture. They delivered furniture sourced from Daventry Contact on a hand cart to the streets around the church. In 1988-1999, a committee was formed, charitable status was granted and Spencer Contact was formed. The charity has grown in amazing ways since then, and we are now able to help people across the whole of Northampton, including some of the surrounding villages.
Unfortunately, because the need is so great, we are only able to help around 30% of those asking for our help. We are often low on some of the more essential items, such as beds, mattresses, bedroom storage and sofas, as the demand is so high. We do recommend those who need our help to keep trying us until we can help.
Our core values in our work are as follows:
To demonstrate the love of Christ in a practical manner
To help bring comfort and relief to the poor
To love your neighbour as yourself
To make a difference one person at a time
To show that people matter
We have been helping people in need as a charity for 25 years, since January 1999.
Over 20,000 people have been helped, of which over 8,872 are children under 18 years of age.
31.7% of our clients are single parents.
34.5% are single adults.
60.3% are taking up a new occupancy in their accommodation.
2,109 tonnes of furniture and essential items have been re-issued and saved from landfill.
We want our customers to feel valued so we a trying to give the best service we can. The following information comes from our customer satisfaction survey, which started in April 2011.
94% of our service users said that they were very happy or happy with the furniture we supplied to them.
“I am really pleased with the furniture that I got! Thank you very much!”
33% of those moving into a new property said they would have had difficulty moving in without our help.
“Brilliant service, excellent delivery men. Just moved into property with 6 week old baby, service is brilliant for people who are in need of it.”
99% rated the speed of our delivery as good or excellent.
“Rapid service and exceptional on how they have helped me at such short notice. Thanks.”
66% considered our delivery charges to be cheap or very cheap.
“The service you give is top marks, more so if you are low on income. I think you do a very good service, keep it up and God bless you all.”
They also had these comments to say about us:
“Two very polite and efficient men delivered a two seater settee and put it in place for us. We are most thankful for your help as my wife and I are 86yrs old and we have our handicapped son with us.”
“The staff of Spencer [Contact] are very helpful, reliable and equal to every task assigned for them to deliver. They are good. I personally appreciate them.”
“Always very happy with furniture that I have received.”
“I am very grateful and impressed with this charity and the delivery guys, they were very hardworking and helpful.”
“Brilliant service – a great help in a difficult time for me”
View our recent reports: