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Against the Grain

Against the Grain is a social enterprise which gives NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) young people at risk a unique opportunity to enhance their employability and build their confidence by contributing to a successful furniture upcycling business.

Young people join Against the Grain as trainees on an 18-month programme designed to provide them with skills in painting furniture, carpentry and upholstery.  As the enterprise grows the trainees will develop skills in sales and marketing guided by professionals.  At the end of 18 months, the trainees will be given access to further training or given assistance in securing permanent employment.    Currently located in Reading the project hopes to expand to other areas in the future.

The Against the Grain team produces bold, eclectic and unique upcycled furniture, a selection of which can be found online on the website and is available to view at Jackson’s Corner Community Hub in King’s Road, Reading.


If you have a piece of furniture you would like us to refresh for you, please get in touch.  We can offer advice and make suggestions as to how we can update it or repair it for you.

Get Involved

Against the Grain welcomes support from members of the public and the local community particularly people that can volunteer skills or time. 

We are currently looking for:

  • A driver and a van to help with ad-hoc collections and deliveries
  • Painting techniques such as decoupage
  • Sewing skills
  • Carpentry skills


We are looking for all types of furniture including wooden and partially upholstered chairs, tables, chests of drawers, desks, sideboards, shelving and anything else that you no longer want, but is salvageable. It doesn’t matter if it has a few knocks or scratches as we can bring it back to life!  We will restore and sell them to raise funds for our social enterprise.

Get in touch: 

Email or call 0118 402 7050

To find out further information take a look at the website and social media:





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