VINCI UK Foundation has awarded £9,400 to Stroud District Furniture Bank, a charity in Gloucestershire that collects and upcycles furniture and then sells it at affordable prices. The money will go toward purchasing a van to help collect and distribute the furniture, as well as broaden the scope of the charity’s offering.
Stroud District Furniture Bank was created to support its local community in three ways: firstly by recycling unwanted furniture, appliances and bric-a-brac by providing a convenient, hassle free removal service; secondly by helping families and individuals in need by offering quality, used furniture and appliances at affordable prices; and thirdly by helping the unemployed to gain employment through creating apprenticeships and flexible opportunities.
“Through our charity, we support roughly 700 homes every year,” said Will Mansell, who heads up the charity. “We also save about 15 tonnes of furniture from landfill each month, so that provides an environmental benefit too. The majority of the money will be spent on a van, which will allow us to collect and distribute even more furniture, thus helping more people. One of the things we’re also looking at is broadening our offering to incorporate clothing. We’ve recently been invited by a large national recycling company to save some of the clothes they collect before they’re disposed of. In other words, this funding couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.”
A helping hand
Unlike most other funding providers, the VINCI UK Foundation encourages VINCI employees, from apprentices to senior management, to dedicate some of their time to providing practical support to these organisations and projects.
Spencer Thompson, business development director at VINCI Energies UK & ROI, has been helping Stroud District Furniture Bank for several years on a voluntary basis and was the one who suggested applying for VINCI UK Foundation funding.
“The VINCI UK Foundation provides such a unique offering,” added Will. “Having someone available to help build a business plan, think it through and then actually invest into it is a real bonus. There are a lot of big causes out there, which understandably require help, but for companies like VINCI to care about local charities like ours is really special.”
Ruth Ottley, head coordinator of the VINCI UK Foundation, said: “Stroud District Furniture Bank provides an essential yet often overlooked service. Furniture, after all, is what helps make a house feel like a home and can be so beneficial to one’s mental wellbeing. And the fact that the charity is also focused on reducing unemployment, as well as caring for the environment, means it ticked all the right boxes for us. I hope this funding allows them to help more people in need.”
More details can be found at www.vinci-uk-foundation.co.uk.
ABOUT VINCI UK Foundation
The original VINCI Foundation was established in France in May 2002. Since then it has supported more than 2,500 charitable projects, each receiving an average grant of £10,000 and the support of up to four employees. The Foundation distributes more than £3.3 million globally to good causes every year.
The VINCI UK Foundation was launched in early 2016 with the specific goal of promoting social cohesion and fighting exclusion and isolation in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, by combining the skills of VINCI staff with financial assistance to be a long term partner for the community.
Businesses contributing to the VINCI UK Foundation are VINCI Energies UK & RoI, VINCI Construction UK, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Concessions, Bachy Soletanche, Eurovia, Freyssinet and Nuvia.