Wiltshire Council works with charity to provide carpet for those in need

By Nick Batten on 20 March, 2024

Wiltshire Council is working with furniture charity Kennet Furniture Refurbiz (KFR) and The Salvation Army Trading Company (SATCoL) to provide a cost-effective, innovative carpeting solution for social housing residents who cannot afford flooring. 

It is standard practice across social housing for properties to be allocated unfurnished and without flooring. Many new tenants, already have furnishings and can afford new flooring, but for some this isn’t the case. Those fleeing domestic abuse, people on low incomes, those moving into a first home as a result of homelessness or leaving care or temporary accommodation often do not have the money for furnishings and flooring. Carpet acts as a form of insulation to help reduce energy bills, noise and improves comfort for households. Living without carpet can impact people’s mental and physical health. 

Wiltshire Council has allocated a proportion of the Household Support Fund from the Department for Work and Pensions to KFR, via the Wiltshire Community Foundation, for a scheme to acquire repurposed carpet tiles, sourced from SATCoL under its Flooring Reuse Programme. The provision of the carpet tiles sits alongside KFR’s existing Crisis Provision offer to provide those in need with essential refurbished white goods and furniture. 

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Public Health said, “Local organisations told us that many residents moving into social housing struggled to afford flooring. I am very pleased that by working with KFR we can assist some of the most vulnerable people in our community. 

“Through our relationships with third-party organisations and allocating them money from the Household Support Fund Round 4, we have extended our ability to reach those most in need across Wiltshire. This sustainable scheme with KFR and the Salvation Army Trading Company is just one example of around 70 schemes running until the end of March 2024.” 

Dan Thompson, General Manager of KFR, said, “We are delighted to partner with SATCoL to offer high-quality carpet tiles to customers via our Crisis Provision Scheme funded by HSF4. We also plan to continue the scheme, once HSF funding closes, by offering a percentage of the carpet tile stock, alongside refurbished furniture and white goods, at affordable prices to paying customers from our premises in Devizes. This will help us continue our Crisis Provision as long as it is needed.” 

Richard Shea, Service Development Manager, SATCoL said, “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Wiltshire Council and KFR who share our vision and commitment to helping the most vulnerable in the community. Our Flooring Reuse Programme will give those referred by the Household Support Fund access to good quality repurposed flooring, making their homes warmer and more comfortable whilst, helping to sustain our planet.” 

As the largest charity textiles collector in the UK, each year SATCoL diverts over 250 million items to good uses, including over 65,000 tonnes of textiles – including carpet tiles from corporate properties, that would be destroyed if not repurposed. 

People can be referred to KFR Crisis Provision via Wiltshire Council or from 40 Wiltshire-based organisations providing support to vulnerable people. Since October 2023, KFR has responded to 114 referrals and delivered 219 items to residents across Wiltshire Council.

For more information about the Household support Fund and the KFR Crisis Provision scheme visit the Wiltshire Council website: wiltshire.gov.uk/article/7757/Overview

Pictured above: The repurposed carpet tiles