A VISION to address a wasteful attitude towards wood products has earned a social enterprise a top prize at the Vale 4 Business Awards.

Oxford Wood Recycling, based in Abingdon, saw off three other finalists last month to scoop the Social Responsibility Award by providing a place for people to buy reclaimed wood and a cheap way to recycle unwanted timber.

The company, founded in 2005 by Richard Snow, Nick Dowling and Helen Porter who met on a post graduate Forestry degree at Oxford University, has since then become a popular service currently employing 20 people and working with around 10 volunteers.

Judge Suzannah Davies from Bluestream Recruitment, which sponsored the award, said: "With a proven track record in successfully achieving its social mission I was impressed with the real passion and desire to do more, making Oxford Wood Recycling really stand out.

"They have demonstrated resilience, determination and are continuously evolving their own ‘social goals’ to encompass and support even more people here in Oxfordshire.

"With ambitious plans for the future Oxford Wood Recycling are setting a wonderful example of what can be achieved when leaders, employees and volunteers all pull together in the same direction."

Over the 13 years the Oxford Wood Recycling has been going it has helped to transform the lives of many of its 60 staff and 200 volunteers, by providing employment and support for those who have faced disadvantage.

At the Oxford Wood Recycling's Suffolk Way warehouse there is an Aladdin’s cave of locally reclaimed timber, wood and oddities suitable for all manner of DIY, gardens, building and furniture projects.

The company also provides a wood collection service to local businesses and homes that not only supports social and environmental responsibility but costs significantly less than a skip.

Chief executive Mr Snow said: "We are constantly thinking of new things to do with recycled wood and taking inspiration from our customer’s projects and recently developed our own furniture collection from reclaimed wood. We have a new showroom space designed to provide a vision of how reclaimed wood with all its quirky irregularities and charm can enhance modern living and encourage people to get excited about making things."

He added: "With the construction industry having to adhere to stricter waste management regulations and an enduring fashion to mix the old with the new to create a comfortable ‘modern rustic’ style in homes, we are delighted the market really seems to have caught up and are embracing the original idea."