A CHARITY that provides affordable second hand furniture to families and individuals in need received a visit from an MP today (Tuesday, May 20).

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson took a tour of the County Durham Furniture Help Scheme warehouse at Chilton Industrial Estate in Chilton to see how the operation has grown since his visit in 2007.

Chris Palmer, chair of the charity’s trustees, said: “We have expanded a great deal since Phil last came here.

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“The showroom is now more than twice the size and during the past year our turnover has increased by over 40 per cent.

“This is due to the economic climate. Since the depression started, demand has shot through the roof and we have had to diversify to meet that need.”

This has included forging new partnerships with housing associations and Durham County Council’s welfare assistance scheme to ensure even more hard pressed families have access to low cost furniture and domestic goods.

Mr Wilson said: “It is sad that we need schemes such as these but it is encouraging to see the community pulling together. I have been very impressed by what I have seen here today.”

To donate good quality second hand furniture, call 01388-721509.