A FURNITURE re-use charity has been given a grant by Swindon Council to help towards the cost of buying a new van.

Top Drawer, based in Walcot, helps people who have just moved into a new home and are unable to afford furniture.

Steve Pickering, the charity’s team leader, said: “We’re extremely grateful for the money.

“We applied for the money and to get £700 is fantastic. We’ve been told that to get that much is quite rare.”

The money has come from the council’s Grass Roots Grant, which provides money to individuals.

A council spokesman said: “The council makes £75,000 worth of Grass Roots Grants each year, up to a maximum of £1,000 each, and successful applications are decided by the councillors in each of the council’s locality areas.

“In this case it was the elected members in the East locality who agreed the £700 payment to Top Drawer towards the cost of a new van.

“Top Drawer does fantastic work that helps people on low incomes get decent furniture and safe electrical equipment for their homes, and they help the environment by preventing perfectly re-usable items from ending up in landfill.”

Top Drawer launched its campaign to buy a new van in March and is trying to raise nearly £12,000.

Its current van is nearly 12 years old and has clocked up more than 200,000 miles.

Steve said; “It has certainly been a valuable member of the team but its time is coming to an end. It’s still going but we are having a bit of trouble with the door.

“The van is so important to the work we do. It’s needed to take the furniture to and from houses.”

So far the charity has raised £2,350 towards the cost of the new van and is still looking for donations and sponsorship.

“We would happily consider a sponsorship deal if a company approached us. It is a really good chance for a local business to make a difference.” he said.

To help raise funds, Steve and other volunteers will be holding a bag packing day at the Asda store in West Swindon on July 3.