Housing association Aster Communities has made a grant of £4,500 to recycling charity Kennet Furniture Refurbiz for its Driving Forward project.

KFR manager Doug North said: “We’re thrilled to have the support of Aster Communities and hope the project will make a real difference to their residents.

“Driving Forward is a scheme to improve the confidence and skills of our volunteers, and thus their employability, at the same time as improving the quality of the environment.

“We will train volunteers in warehouse skills, together with customer service skills which they will put into practice when they collect unwanted furniture, stopping it from becoming landfill.”

Oliver is one of those who has already benefited from volunteering at KFR. He went there for mandatory work experience and had been unemployed for some time.

He volunteered for some nine months and found paid work as a direct result of his time with the charity.

He said: “KFR has been a great help for me. They have given me the experience and confidence to not just find a job but to succeed in everyday life.”

Antony Higgins, Aster Communities’ customer involvement and community development manager, said: “We’re very pleased to be lending our support to the Driving Forward project. Not only is it good for the environment by saving unwanted items from going to landfill, it also highlights the many benefits of volunteering, which is also one of our top priorities.

“Volunteering really can increase your job prospects. It also allows you to boost your confidence and learn skills that can be taken into the workplace.”

To build on this success, KFR is looking for more people to join its team as trustees.

Mr North said: “We’re especially looking for people with financial, HR and marketing skills..”

For details, call KFR on (01380) 720200 or go to www.kfr.org.uk