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Mersey community groups clinch £110,000 environmental fund

Ten Merseyside and Halton community groups have received a funding boost to help make the region a cleaner and greener place.

The financial shot-in-the-arm will see the groups help reduce household waste, cheap encourage recycling and resource re-use, and prevent carbon emissions.

The £110,000 is coming from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2016/17, which has been running annually since 2006.

Projects funded include the repair and re-use of unused furniture, cookery clubs to help reduce food waste, a scheme to increase recycling with Liverpool’s Roma community, bicycle repair and re-use, an interactive large-scale artwork in Liverpool city centre, and unwanted wood and timber waste re-use at a local community farm.

Successful applicants have been awarded up to £25,000 for schemes which operate across Merseyside and Halton, and up to £8,000 for projects which work solely at local authority level.

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Graham Morgan, said: “We’ve made this money available for projects which can have an impact on their local community and make Merseyside and Halton a cleaner and greener place for us all to live and work. Giving groups the opportunity to get involved in looking after their environment can only bring benefits to all and can help us appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which otherwise might be just thrown away.”

Details of each project:

Centre 63 – Bike Back 63 (Knowsley): The ‘Bike Back 63’ project will take in unwanted bikes from the Knowsley community and cheap bikes from auctions then refurbish them to a state ‘as new’ before selling them at an affordable price back into the local community. This scheme will give young people the opportunity to learn about cycle repair and maintenance and earn their own bike.

The Children’s Food Trust – Mersey Waste Munchers (Merseyside & Halton): The Trust will set up 20 ‘Mersey Waste Muncher’ clubs – targeting young adults aged 16-25 and providing a two-day course, arming club leaders with the skills and support to establish cookery clubs that focus on reducing food waste. Clubs will receive funding, training and printed resources to teach others how to change their food waste behaviour.

Emmaus Merseyside – Upcycle It (Sefton): Upcycle It is about giving homeless people the skills to design and make attractive furniture and household accessories from waste otherwise destined for landfill. Customers at the Emmaus superstore in Seaforth will be buying the fashionable upcycled products created by volunteers.

 Faiths4Change – Turning the Tables (Merseyside & Halton): Turning the Tables will deliver a series of learning workshops enabling people to gain skills to revitalise unwanted furniture and textiles, simultaneously contributing to an interactive artwork to be exhibited in Liverpool city centre next spring.

Granby Toxteth Development Trust – Recycle L1578 (Liverpool): The Trust will build upon their work with local disadvantaged communities, including whose first language isn’t English, to improve awareness of the opportunities to waste less and re-use and recycle more.

 Halton Play Council – Scrapstore (Halton): Halton Play Council operates a re-use Scrapstore and children’s Play Resource Centre in Runcorn, which is open to the general public and community groups and supports the work of their children’s charity. The grant will help promote the Scrapstore to the local community and encourage more donations of reusable items like toys, furniture and textiles. Volunteers will be trained in the collection, repair and retail of these reusable resources.

HoneyRose Foundation – Storage Facility (St Helens): This project will provide improved storage facilities for the HoneyRose Foundation’s charity shops allowing increased re-use and recycling of furniture and other donated household materials. The facility will also provide a workshop area to facilitate the repair and reuse of items.

Liverpool Guild of Students – Leave Liverpool Tidy (Liverpool): Leave Liverpool Tidy is a reduce, reuse, and recycle project which aims to reduce the amount of reusable items going to landfill at the end of the academic year. The project will collect unwanted materials and redistribute cleaned and repaired items back to new students and the local community through free shops.

Neighbourhood Services Company – Reusing Waste Wood for Improved Environmental Facilities at Home Farm (Knowsley and Liverpool): The project will be located at NSC’s Home Farm in Croxteth Park and will re-use waste wood from domestic properties and gardens to improve visitor facilities and livestock conditions at the farm and provide training opportunities in re-use.

Sustrans – Eastham Centre Community Cycling Hub (Wirral): The Eastham Centre Community Cycling Hub delivers cycling activities to adults with learning difficulties and the local community. In this new project the Cycling Hub will employ a qualified bike mechanic to repair and maintain bicycles, upcycle old bicycles for reuse, and deliver bike maintenance courses to Centre users.

Carl Beer, Chief Executive of MRWA, said: “It was a tough job having to sort through some excellent applications. The projects picked for funding really seem to understand the importance of resource efficiency and community education. We’re really looking forward to seeing what they achieve.”

Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside are one organisation to have previously benefitted from the Community Fund. Groundwork’s Project Manager, Jon Hutchinson, said: “MRWA’s Community Fund has been pivotal in enabling Project UP to establish a furniture upcycling base in Widnes. We teach young unemployed people how to restore beaten up items of furniture and we donate them back into the community. This year we also delivered a series of roadshow events teaching members of the public how to transform their own furniture and avoid throwing out perfectly usable items.”

Projects have until March 2017 to deliver their schemes.

The impact of the 2015/16 Community Fund saw 71 full time equivalent jobs created or safeguarded, participation by 253 volunteers, 680 tonnes of waste material diverted from landfill and £68,000 of equivalent landfill costs avoided.

Written by Gather

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