About us

We are The Wood Pile a Community Interest Company, founded by Karen Stubbings, founded July 31st 2014


We do this to support those who have barriers to work, those who are disadvantaged or disabled into and towards employment, we do this by having our clients work alongside our volunteers gaining transferable skills such as:

  • Customer service
  • Retail
  • Furniture restoration
  • Joinery,
  • Logistics (collection and delivery)
  • Business admin


See more videos on our YouTube Channel


This allows our clients to better their chances of gaining real skills and experience in different fields, we feel that this also helps them to gain self confidence in their own abilities. Karen “I wanted to support people who find it difficult to gain work for whatever reason but who want to work, whether it’s due to employers doubting the skill level or judging our clients based on the fact they may have a disability or learning difficulty, everybody deserves the same opportunities to prove they can do the job just as well, I just want to be able to provide my clients with the skills they’d need to make this opportunity possible.”

We were initially given funding from the National Lottery, County Durham Community Foundation, the Community Chest, clients are sent to us from Employment Supporting bodies/Social Services/Self Referrals, to gain training and experience, for which they’d use their awarded funding to pay for their extra support, our day rate is £31 a day.

We intend to reduce the amount of wood going to landfill and incinerators by means of recycling/upcycling, wood and furniture are not only collected from waste streams they are also donated, bought at auctions, charity shops and markets. We get such items as fencing, panels, plywood boards, doors, floorboards and any such types of wood, along with many different types of furniture.

Many people will just discard their old furniture when they think it has served its purpose or too damaged or dishevelled to be used, what we see is an opportunity to take that furniture, repair the damages, give it a fresh coat of paint and wax it, to make it look good as new or give it that “Shabby Chic” look, and then sell the items in our shop.

We use donated and paid for wood/furniture to help them get this training and income generated from the sale of items is put back into the Company such as workshop tools, paint, furniture, wood and other materials, for the clients to work on.

We have been established since August 2014, we’ve grown a steady stream of clients and volunteers. However we are always looking for more skilled volunteers who’d wish to help out

For a referral form and to set up a pre-referral meeting, please call on 0191 3869735


Volunteer with us, we are always looking for volunteers to help out with Joinery, Carpentry, painting and upholstering if you’re interested we have a do-it page https://do-it.org/organisations/the-wood-pile-cic or contact us directly for more information.