A FOUR-figure grant will allow a community enterprise to hold on to a key member of staff.

The Wood Pile, a community interest company based on Rennys Lane, Durham City, rescues waste wood and turns it into furniture, helping unemployed people, many with disabilities, learn practical skills in the process.

One staff member, Gavin Tones, who has just 20 per cent vision, faced losing his job as a funding stream was about to run out.

But The Banks Group has made a £5,408 grant through its Banks Community Fund, allowing The Wood Pile to keep Mr Tones on staff.

He helps with marketing, the website, social media, administration and other tasks.

Karen Stubbings, founder of The Wood Pile, said: “Gavin is really proactive and is always coming up with ideas that have a big impact on what we do – I don’t think we’d be where we are without everything he’s done and I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him now.

“We knew that the funding we’d obtained that enabled us to take Gavin on in the first place was going to run out and we weren’t really sure what we were going to do, so to get this grant from The Banks Group has been absolutely invaluable.”

Lucy Hinds, from The Banks Group, said: “The Wood Pile is a terrific community project. We’re very pleased to be supporting Gavin in continuing his work.”