Business & Entrepreneurs

Blenheim Palace helping RAW do good with wood

By Sarah Edwards at

As part of its commitment to sustainability, Blenheim Palace has linked up with RAW Workshop, an Oxford-based social enterprise which trains and supports people from the local community who face prejudice and barriers to work.

The Blenheim Estate is contracting RAW to collect and recycle waste wood materials; ranging from forestry and fencing, to pallets and broken furniture. The wood is taken back to their workshop and either re-used or recycled

As well as providing waste wood collection services, Blenheim has also commissioned RAW to produce interior timber products, including bespoke retail merchandise units made from 100% reclaimed wood.

“This partnership offers an environmentally friendly outlay for waste generated across the estate, while also changing lives for the better. It’s a truly sustainable model which we are proud to support,” said Jacqueline Gibson, Sustainability Advisor for Blenheim Palace.

“We are also looking at the potential next year of offering a range of their products in our retail shop, some of which would be made from reclaimed wood from the estate,” she added.

Over 85% of RAW’s workforce are striving to succeed in the face of issues such as physical or learning difficulties, mental health illness, recovery from addiction and criminal histories.

Rick Mower, CEO of RAW, said: “It is fantastic to be working with Blenheim. They really are leading the way in showing how smarter procurement choices can lead to direct local social and environmental impact.

“Since we started working with Blenheim, we’ve been generating around 1,400 hours of human social impact every month and making a significant environmental impact.

“We pride ourselves on the quality of our products and services. We’re determined to show, through what we produce, that you shouldn’t judge people by their past or by their life-challenges,” he added.