Catford-born John was a successful furniture restorer for the British upper class, before losing his job and home due to a chronic health complaint and relationship breakdown.

Determined to turn his life around, John discovered local homelessness charity, Emmaus Greenwich and six months on, he is now able to continue his passion for furniture restoration by upcycling donations from the workshop at the Emmaus community in Earl Rise, Plumstead.

So far this year, the local homelessness charity has saved 1,948 pieces of furniture, including wardrobes, cupboards and beds from landfill. Instead, the charity offers a free collection service for items in good condition. The collected goods are then sold in their four shops in Lee, Welling, Poplar and Earl Rise, Plumstead.

The opportunity to continue working was what first attracted John to Emmaus Greenwich:

“I enjoy the process of upcycling because no two jobs are the same. People call me a perfectionist, and that’s a good thing when it comes to restoring furniture; I can always guarantee a lovely finished product.”

In the run-up to Recycling Week (25 Sept – 1 October), John, is upcycling an impressive Victorian Dolls House that was donated by a local resident earlier in the year. John’s creation will be on sale from Monday 25 September in their charity shop in Earl Rise, Plumstead.

He continues: “I am grateful to Emmaus for providing me with a stepping stone to a bright future.”

Tony Bradbury, CEO of Emmaus Greenwich adds:

“As an organisation, Emmaus is committed to recycling, but it helps enormously when we have a master craftsman like John to support us. I can’t wait to see the restored Dolls House.”

Recycle Week is organised by WRAP under the Recycle Now brand. The aim of the week is to encourage everyone to recycle more, by demonstrating the benefits of recycling items from all around the home.