The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, has announced the appointment of The Lord Kirkham CVO as its new charity president with immediate effect.

Lord Kirkham, who founded sofa retailer DFS in 1969, takes over the position from Tony Attard OBE, who has acted as charity president since 2009.

Ben Burbidge, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Lord Kirkham has agreed to become our new Charity President. On behalf of The Furniture Makers’ Company, I would like to thank Tony for the huge contribution he has made over the past seven years as Charity President.”

Lord Kirkham commented: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have been invited by The Furniture Makers’ Company to take on the role of Charity President to help promote craftsmanship, educate young people, assist those who have fallen on hard times and work to preserve the past of our great industry and assure and safeguard the future.”

Jonathan Hindle, fundraising chairman at The Furniture Makers’ Company, added: “I would like to welcome Lord Kirkham and look forward to working with him. We have some ambitious plans and initiatives to encourage more young people to pursue a career in the furnishing industry, as well as support those who have worked within our ranks and require financial assistance. Lord Kirkham’s expertise and influence will be an invaluable resource in supporting us to achieve our ambitions.”