The history of RESPECT and Eternal Benefits is very much tied into the lives of Ian and Lynn Warelow. Their lives were transformed in 1980 after being told about God’s love for them and felt a very definite call from God to reach their own kind. This was the foundational word from God and has brought everything else into being.
Ian chose to start working alongside gangs on the street, in senior schools and the prisons. Eventually in 1988, they moved home to The Quadrant community whilst working with Youth for Christ. Ian met other church volunteers who had similar vision to his own and together they walked the streets talking to the gangs of young people and began to run activities and trips for them.
First premises on Inglemire Lane
1990 – 2003
In 1990, Ian moved on from Hull Youth for Christ because he felt it was important to reach not only young people but a whole community. Many relationships had been formed by this time and when visiting the homes of those in prison and the local young people they saw the squalor that many people lived in: children sleeping on floorboards; no cooking or clothes washing facilities; and damp, cold houses. The difficult conditions that some people were living in led to Eternal Benefits being founded. Ian and Lynn would attend church and simply ask friends for any furniture that still had life in it. It was easy to find homes for such answers to prayer.
Ian began to deliver these items in the back of his hatchback. Eventually, he sold his car to buy a light van. Back then, the garage wasn’t big enough for furniture so Ian and Lynn sold their house and bought a shop premises on Inglemire Lane even closer to The Quadrant and added extensions to the property. A large trailer was then needed to go on the back of the light van. As Eternal Benefits blossomed a furniture manager was employed in February 2000. Because of this growth and the development of the RESPECT activities, the Inglemire Lane property wasn’t big enough. So in September 2001, Eternal Benefits Furniture moved to the derelict premises on The Quadrant..
Eternal Benefits Building in 2001
2003 up to Present
Now Eternal Benefits and RESPECT are all under the same roof. The building offers amazing possibilities for reaching the community. A recent refurbishment of the first floor has opened up more opportunity for growth, especially with teenagers.
Over the years many good volunteers have been involved and those that have Christian faith share the vision to reach the community with the love of God toward every individual. Both Ian and Lynn have been involved in the local primary school. Lynn was a governor there for 25 years and when possible Ian takes assemblies, services, and lessons.
Eternal Benefits Furniture went on to become a charity and increased to 2 shops, 2 vans, and 10 full-time staff before many other organisations started doing similar work with reused furniture.
However, there are now seven other organisations providing low-cost furniture in the city of Hull. Therefore, Eternal Benefits moved towards identifying gaps and attempting to relieve all kinds of poverty through empowerment: physical, mental and spiritual. We have now dropped the ‘Furniture’ from the charity’s name as it no longer defines the objectives of the charity.
A primary aim is to see the whole community given the opportunity to live well, to expand in aspiration and live life to the full. From the youngest to the eldest we make every effort to give an opportunity for inclusivity regardless of gender, political or religious affiliation.