2013 has been a productive year for the welfare department at The Furniture Makers, the British furnishing industry’s central organisation, charity and patron, with applications coming in from across the UK from people in the furnishing industry who have fallen on hard times. It has only been eight months since the welfare department but we have already made one-off grants totalling nearly £12,000.

The Furntiure Makers marketing manager, Monica Martin says: "Our grants have been quite varied, ranging from help toward household bills and furniture, daily living expenses, property repairs, disabled equipment and necessary adaptations, as well as funeral costs and money towards respite breaks following illness.

"One of the most touching applications was from Mr and Mrs S from the Midlands. Mrs S is disabled following a stroke leaving her with limited mobility and as a permanent wheelchair user. Mr S gave up work to care for her, and has worked hard to renovate their bungalow to meet her needs. Thanks to his hard work and dedication and help from other charities, the couple were able to have a new extension to their house that has enabled Mrs S to look out over their garden for the first time in many years. Thanks to a grant of £1,338 from the Furniture Makers, the couple now have specialised flooring in the day room so that Mrs S can move about freely.

"We have also helped with smaller grants of £100 clothing grants, £250 grants for living expenses following redundancy, and £600 grants for boiler repairs and funeral expenses.

In addition to this, The Furniture Makers is continuing the great work of the former charity, the FTBA (the Furnishing Trades Benevolent Association), to support 99 elderly beneficiaries retired from some of the most prominent furnishing companies in the UK, with weekly grants totalling just under £82,000 every year. People such as Mrs B whose husband was a furniture manufacturers’ representative and who has been involved in the furnishing industry all her life. It was a pleasure visiting Mrs B and learning all about the old days in the industry.

The charitable work is naturally reliant on the generosity and support of people within the industry to continue the great work we do helping those in need. Fundraising events such as Big Shots goes a long way to raising necessary funds, as well as its recent skydiving challenge and various sporting events across the country. Keep an eye on our website for upcoming events to take part in, such as the national charity golf championship on Friday, September 13th.

Interested parties are invited to call the office on 0207 256 5558 to discuss how you can help the industry’s charity.