National Grid awards grant to Necessary Furniture to continue supporting the Kent community

National Grid has awarded the latest funding from its Community Grants Programme (CGP) to Necessary Furniture, a local organisation in Canterbury that refurbishes and recycles donated furniture for families on a low income. The organisation is dependent on a fleet of vans for the collection and delivery of goods. The grant will help the organisation replace an old van, which was coming to the end of its useful life.

Necessary Furniture has been awarded a total of £20,000 from National Grid due to its proximity to the Richborough Connection, a brand new 400kv overhead line between Richmond and Canterbury, which went live in November 2018.

Necessary Furniture has been supporting the local community of Canterbury since 1999, through selling upcycled furniture at an affordable cost. Every year hundreds of tons of waste are diverted from landfill, more than 1,000 people can access affordable goods, and many people gain new skills through volunteering with the Charity. It was for these reasons that National Grid is pleased to support Necessary Furniture, for its environmental and social impacts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on many families and Necessary Furniture has experienced a 30 per cent increase in clients requesting support. An additional, operational van ensures that these families are receiving the help and support they need, as quickly as possible.

Michael Crabbe, Lead Project Manager at Richborough Connection, commented: “We’re really pleased to be able to award a community grant to Necessary Furniture. National Grid is committed to working with local communities impacted by the Richborough Connection works. In these testing times, Necessary Furniture has been a pillar of the local community, supporting families, while also preventing old furniture from ending up in landfill.”

Steve Mellers, Manager at Necessary Furniture, commented: “This tremendously generous grant from National Grid has come at the most opportune time. It enables us to replace one of our delivery vehicles allowing us to continue and, indeed, enhance the services we provide to our local communities in East Kent. The situation over the past year has been difficult and challenging for everyone, in particular for charities such as ours who have seen income streams slashed. This recognition and support from National Grid is welcome.”

The funding received by Necessary Furniture is just one of 39 grants given out by National Grid’s Community Grant Programme this financial year, totalling £477,472. The grant programme is aimed at community organisations and charities in areas where National Grid’s work is impacting local people through operations and site activities.

Through the CGP, National Grid is committed to supporting projects that provide a range of social, economic and environmental benefits. Throughout the course of the Richborough Connection project, National Grid has also supported have supported five Kent charities – The Martha Trust, The Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust, Louie’s Helping Hands, Chislet Colliety Welfare Bowls Club and East Kent Mencap – and hope to continue supporting more in the future.

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Helen Blake
T 07790 824788