A Cheshire wide group including an Ellesmere Port based organisation has gained a top green award.

The Cheshire Furniture Reuse Forum has won a Green Apple Environment Award in an international campaign to find the greenest companies, councils and communities.

Locally the forum, which covers nine organisations, includes the St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) which operates across Ellesmere Port and Neston.

The society, which operates out of premises on the Westminster Industrial Park, Rossfield Road and shops on Church Parade and Rossmore Road West, supplies second-hand donated furniture at affordable prices to disadvantaged families and single people.

It also provides furniture to families in need through official bodies such as the council housing department and social services.

In the past two years, the society has helped about 100 families in this way and has redistributed over 100 tonnes of second-hand furniture.

Managed and operated by 50 volunteers and two part-time members of staff SVP says it is always looking out for volunteers for warehouse work, shop assistance, electricians, carpenters, drivers and driver’s assistants.

The forum says its members collect quality reusable furniture and household appliances throughout Cheshire and donate or sell at low cost to people in need funding their activities through sales to the general public.

Supported by Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East councils, members last year reused over 600 tonnes of items helping over 13,000 households.

The forum competed against more than 500 other nominations in the awards which were presented in the Houses of Parliament.

Naomi Graham, co-ordinator for the forum, said: “No-one wants to see their much loved item going to landfill if it could go to help and be appreciated by another family.

“This award acknowledges the hard work of the staff and volunteers across all the projects making sure preloved items can be used by others.”

The award was on the back of the furniture projects working together and with local authorities to achieve a huge increase in reuse and recycling and households helped.

The forum has just relaunched its website enabling residents to use a booking form to donate items of furniture. Details are passed to their nearest furniture project who will contact them to arrange a convenient time to collect the items for free.

Community interest company Reviive also operates in the district.