Jo Wedderspoon_2

Joanne Wedderspoon

Development Manager

Charities Aid Foundation


4 September 2019

Wow! We’ve been shortlisted for Social Investment Deal of the Year

We are very excited that we have been shortlisted for the UK Social Enterprise Awards, Social Investment Deal of the Year for our social investment deal with Furniture Resource Centre (FRC Group).

The UK Social Enterprise Awards run by Social Enterprise UK, the national membership body for social enterprises, recognise the nation’s most pioneering social enterprises. 

“Every year the standard of applications for the UK Social Enterprise Awards gets higher and higher. At a time when public confidence in business is at a low and when we are facing crises both political and environmental – this year’s shortlist shows how business can be used to build a better world.”

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK

From grassroots Liverpool, spreading across the north in 30 years

Furniture Resource Centre (FRC Group) is a Liverpool based social enterprise, now with sites in Manchester, Oldham and North Tyneside, providing essential furniture to poorer households alongside jobs and workplace training.

FRC has reused over one million items of furniture, delivered new and used furniture to over 155,000 families, trained over 450 people, awarded 2,500 qualifications along the way and supported 500 volunteers.

As well as paying all their staff a living wage, the FRC’s paid training programme offers people in need of a helping hand to move either from unemployment, or insecure low-paid employment, into a sustainable job. The FRC Group also runs a high street store in Liverpool city centre providing “pre-loved” furniture items at steep discounts for the local community.

They marked their 30th anniversary by increasing their turnover from £7m to £10m per annum with help from a £400,000 social investment in the form of a secured loan from CAF Venturesome.

Fewer children being taken into care

They have helped families get a good night’s sleep, have somewhere to sit and share a meal together, cooked on a cooker they have provided with food stored in one of their fridges. They have helped them to make a house a home. Their new Safety Net scheme, delivered with Liverpool City Council’s Children’s Services Instant Response team literally keeps families together and helps to prevent children being taken into care because their homes are not fit for purpose due to the lack of essential furniture items.

Mayor of Liverpool with FRC Chief Executive

FRC CEO Shaun Doran, pictured above with Joe Anderson OBE Mayor of Liverpool, explains:

“Everyone deserves the right to have access to basic forms of furniture that so many of us simply take for granted. How do you feed your family properly without a fridge or working cooker? How can your kids function at school without a decent night’s sleep, because you haven’t got a proper bed for them to sleep in? Thousands of families across the country face these questions every day, which is why it’s our goal to reduce and ultimately eradicate furniture poverty in the UK.”

More than one award nomination

We are thrilled to see that FRC are nominated for 5 UK Social Enterprise awards this year as well as our other investees Change Please and Hubbub.

All just going to show that social investment really can help organisations to grow and thrive.

“We are proud to support Furniture Resource Centre to help them in the next stage of their growth.  We are also delighted to see that so many of our long-standing investees are included in the shortlist; getting the recognition they deserve.”

Holly Piper, Head of CAF Venturesome


If you want to know more about a social investment from CAF Venturesome or want to use your philanthropic capital to support our fund, talk to our team on 03000 123 300 or email us at and we’ll be happy to help.