It’s the end of an era for a furniture charity in Hemel Hempstead as it closes its doors this week after more 15 years.
Paradise Furniture Warehouse – run by Community Action Dacorum – will cease trading for good on Saturday after re-distributing furniture and white goods across Dacorum since 1997, leaving 40 volunteers without roles.
CAD chief executive Mark Mitchell said: “It’s very much a time of mixed emotions.
“We can take great satisfaction from having run a valued service which has supported so many.
“At the same time, there is great sadness in having bid farewell to a wonderful staff and volunteer team.”
Mark cited the launch of similar services by charities such as the YMCA and the British Heart Foundation as the reason for the closure, and said that Paradise couldn’t compete with the national charities’ branding and marketing muscle.
He said: “We recognise that we are not retail specialists, and are taking the approach to concentrate on the areas where we excel.”
In September, The Gazette published an appeal in the hope of finding cheaper alternative premises for the charity after it was revealed that it had to pay £20,000 per year to rent the space on Wood Lane, but nothing was found.
The project – which is running a half-price closing down sale – was the only charity of its kind in the area to offer a 50 per cent discount to Dacorum Card holders.
Mark said: “We hope one of the other charities will be proactive and offer the discount to those with a Dacorum Card.”
He also stressed that CAD continues to operate many other successful projects in the area which continue to thrive, including Shopmobility, Radio Dacorum and adult learning courses, adding:
“Each of these continues to thrive and make an important contribution to individuals and community groups.
Visit www.comunityactiondacorum.org.uk to find out more.