PHD Access Empowers Social Change Through Sustainable Partnerships

Published: Jan 17 2024

PHD Access, a leading name in the scaffolding and access solutions industry, continues its commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) social values by supporting the not-for-profit venture, thinkFOUND. In an inspiring collaboration, PHD Access has donated previously-used, weathered scaffolding boards setting the stage for a remarkable journey towards sustainability and social impact.

In a world where discarded materials often find their way to landfills, thinkFOUND, founded in 2016, is a refreshing exception. Situated in their East London workshop, the organisation breathes new life into unused and unwanted things and transforms them into bespoke, premium furniture. However, thinkFOUND’s mission extends far beyond furniture craftsmanship. Here, young people are offered the opportunity to learn, train, and gain structured employment with transferable skills.

Empowering the Future

Operating as a Social Enterprise, thinkFOUND is meticulously designed to provide opportunities for those who are farthest from the employment market. With a deep-rooted commitment to addressing the challenges faced by young individuals seeking meaningful work experience opportunities, thinkFOUND serves as a non-profit work experience platform. Inspired by the principles of renowned designer and social activist William Morris, the organisation believes in the transformative power of beauty and function in society.

thinkFOUND was born out of a love for simple, stylish furniture and a growing concern for our throw-away culture, along with a lack of opportunities for social mobility within our society,” says Chris Barrett, Founder of thinkFOUND. “We make use of ‘FOUND’ materials, often the byproducts of other industries, to create beautiful, made-to-order pieces of furniture. Our organisation is designed to provide opportunities for those who are furthest from the employment market, offering tailored platforms for skills acquisition, qualifications, and enhanced employment prospects.”

The Effects of thinkFOUND’s Efforts

The impact of thinkFOUND’s work extends beyond environmental sustainability, with a focus on supporting at-risk youth and fostering employment pathways.

Through free woodworking training, mentoring, career guidance, transferable skills, and work/educational opportunities, thinkFOUND has already made a significant difference. thinkFOUND’s mission focuses on three key pillars:

Producing Sustainable Furniture

Supporting At-Risk Youth

Creating Employment Pathways

Moreover, thinkFOUND has embarked on a groundbreaking initiative, entering into a contract with the Mayor of London to collect fallen trees within the city. These reclaimed materials are repurposed into exquisite furniture pieces, embodying the organisation’s commitment to sustainable practices, and reducing waste.


Tonnes of Material diverted from landfill and repurposed into new furniture pieces.


Tonnes of CO2e saved by using reclaimed materials instead of virgin resources.


Hours of Training in sustainable woodworking provided to the community free of charge.


Young people offered work experience, mentoring, career guidance, transferable skills, and work/educational opportunities.


Hours of paid and meaningful work generated for young people not in education, employment, or training from the local community.


Young people have progressed to apprenticeships, further education, and full-time employment.

A Second Life for Weathered Scaffolding Boards

The remarkable journey of the weathered scaffolding boards, initially donated by PHD Access, comes full circle as they find a second life in the hands of thinkFOUND. These transformed pieces are then acquired by Not Your Every Day (NYED) Furniture Hire. With a profound love for furniture, NYED only stocks pieces they believe will be invaluable assets to events, conferences, exhibitions, TV productions, and more. In essence, if it’s not of the highest quality, it won’t be found in their inventory.

Danny Dwyer, Managing Director at PHD Access commented, “We’re proud to see our scaffolding boards transformed into beautiful furniture, making a positive impact on society. This partnership reflects our deep commitment to social value and CSR.”

Ryan Walker, Managing Director at NYED added, “Our partnership with thinkFOUND isn’t just about providing top-quality furniture; it’s about joining hands in a mission to create a more sustainable and socially responsible event industry. We are honoured to play a pivotal role in extending the reach of thinkFOUND’s creations, inspiring change, and making a positive impact on diverse industries.”

NYED’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond their furniture selection. They thoroughly consider every aspect of their business operations, from the pallet wrap they use to the protective coverings on their furniture, and even the electricity that powers their building and vehicles.


PHD Access is delighted to be a part of this exceptional journey, where discarded materials are given new life, young talents are nurtured, and the creative and construction industry becomes more diverse. This partnership with thinkFOUND and NYED Furniture Hire serves as a testament to the company’s unwavering commitment to CSR and social value. By supporting innovative ventures that promote sustainability, social mobility, and environmental consciousness, PHD Access demonstrates its dedication to making a positive impact on society.

For further information about PHD Access and its CSR Social Value initiatives, please visit

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