"The stories we’re hearing and the feedback we’re getting is amazing" - Project helping provide people in Calderdale with carpets and floor coverings for their homes

A project in Halifax is helping housing association tenants to live in warmer and safer homes by providing carpets and floor coverings.
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Noah’s Ark Centre in Ovenden has teamed up with the charity ACTS435 and carpet wholesaler Mercado UK on the scheme, which has already had 73 referrals from clients and

referral partners and seen carpets fitted into 34 Calderdale homes.

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The project was inspired by a single mum in Calderdale who came to Noah’s Ark for help.

Andrew Sykes at Noah's Ark Centre, Ovenden.Andrew Sykes at Noah's Ark Centre, Ovenden.
Andrew Sykes at Noah's Ark Centre, Ovenden.

"She’d recently moving into a new house, a property owned a social landlord, whose policy is not to provide floor coverings,” said Andrew Sykes, from Noah’s Ark.

"If there are floor coverings down, they remove them. Legally all they are required to provide is a floor covering in the kitchen and bathroom.

"In this case, our client could only afford a carpet for her lounge, something she was paying for at £14 per week.

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"Her young son stubbed his big toe on a bare floorboard and had a splinter running the full length of his nail bed. An awful thing to happen and terribly painful.

Some of the carpets used for the projectSome of the carpets used for the project
Some of the carpets used for the project

"His mum took him to Calderdale Royal Hospital, but they couldn’t remove the splinter. He was then transferred in an ambulance to Bradford Royal Infirmary where he underwent a surgical procedure to remove the splinter.

"The social cost to society of the fact his mum couldn’t afford carpets was huge: from the distress caused to her son to the financial cost to the NHS.

"That was the catalyst for a pilot project that started in the late summer of this year.”

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After seeing the story on TV, John Clark, managing director of carpet wholesaler Mercado UK, reached out to ACTS435 as he knew he could help.

"Every week his company were disposing of dozens of end of roll carpets,” said Andrew, “all going to landfill because they had no way to recycle them.

"John proposed a joint pilot project with ACTS435 and Noah’s Ark: John would provide the carpets, underlay and carpet fitting accessories, ACTS435 would provide help with fitting costs, and we would provide clients. An amazing idea.

"All we have do is cover the cost of the carpets being fit.

"We have a superstar carpet fitter on board, Craig Symes and his son, who are helping us make this project a success.

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"We’ve fit everything from just a bedroom carpet, through to whole houses. Demand has taken us a little bit by surprise, so we have a bit of backlog to get through, but we’ve got a plan.

"We have had great support from the Community Foundation for Calderdale. We approached them for financial support with the fitting costs and as ever they came up trumps.

"One of their donors has gifted us £10,000 towards this and we’ve had additional funds from other grant pots they manage.

"The stories we’re hearing and the feedback we’re getting is amazing. The project is turning houses into homes, it’s making them warmer and safer for families to live in. It’s truly an inspirational project which all those involved with should be proud of what they’ve created.”