Plea after flood hits stock at reuse centre

Janet Brennan at Preen Reuse Centre, Eastern Avenue, Dunstable, which was hit hard by flooding from heating system

Janet Brennan at Preen Reuse Centre, Eastern Avenue, Dunstable, which was hit hard by flooding from heating system

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An urgent appeal is being made by Dunstable’s Preen Reuse Centre, after flooding wrecked much of its furniture stock on Friday, January 17.

Water pouring from the heating system created a huge pool which covered a fifth of the shop floor.

Now the social enterprise team is appealing for furniture donations to boost stocks at the centre, in Eastern Avenue, off Luton Road.

The centre had to close temporarily after the setback but it is hoped that it will be up and running again today, Wednesday, January 22.

Staff and volunteers were shocked to find the flood at the centre, which is based in the former ERG factory.

Director Kathy Lewis said: “I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“Water was streaming down out of a pipe near the ceiling, running over furniture, and we literally had to paddle through it.

“We saved as much furniture as we could, but unfortunately we have lost a lot of stock that has been ruined by the water.”

The team has been busy clearing the damaged goods, and was also faced with having to replace flooring beyond repair and get the heating system working again.

Preen is a “community interest company”, selling affordable reused furniture, appliances and household goods to the general public.

Special discounts are given to elderly people and low-income households.

The centre does not receive public funding for its core operations.

So the team is reliant on donations of goods from the public to stay stocked up with goods to sell.

Preen also provides local welfare provision furniture and household goods.

And it is home to the Bedfordshire Food Aid Network, which it supports financially.

During the closure, Kathy gave this assurance: “Our reuse centre in Biggleswade is open and we’re still handling referrals for food parcels as well as emergency furniture, so no-one in crisis will lose out.”

The reuse centre moved from West Street to its spacious current base in Eastern Avenue in autumn 2012.

> Preen collects bulky items suitable for reuse free of charge.

Just call 0844 99 343 99, email or post a message on to donate furniture and other household goods.