A novel project in Halton is helping transform the job prospects of young people by showing them how to upcycle old furniture.
Widnes-based Project UP is running workshops to teach young people not in employment, education or training the skills needed to bring old furniture back to life. In addition to renovating old furniture the project also creates bespoke furniture from scratch using materials that otherwise would have gone to landfill.
The project, based on a similar and very successful scheme previously run on the Wirral, sells the refurbished furniture or donates it to families in need. It is funded by Community Fund operated by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and is run by Groundwork Cheshire.
MRWA chairperson Councillor Graham Morgan said: “Project UP is already proving a boon for local young people and will have an even bigger local impact by transforming old furniture so it doesn’t have to end up in landfill.”
Under the Wirral Project UP 80% of volunteers taking part subsequently found employment and over 100 items of furniture were donated to local residents in need.
Project UP runs its workshops on Tuesdays and Thursdays and currently supports 4 young people. The shop is located at 108a Royal Avenue will be open from January. This space has been kindly donated by Halton Housing Trust who have been a partner in the project’s success so far.
Project UP Manager Jon Hutchinson said: “Not only are we teaching local young people new skills but we are creating truly unique hand finished items of furniture perfect for the modern home.”
8435 – Students and volunteers at Project Up pictured with work in progress. Left to right: Student, Billy Joe Jones, 17; Andy Colley, workshop manager; Simon Smith, Halton Housing Trust; Stuart Donaldson, MRWA waste strategy manager; Project Up project manager Jon Hutchinson and volunteer, Mikey Pickavant, 17.
Note to editors
1. The MRWA Community Fund was open to community and voluntary sector groups, not for profit social enterprises and schools in Merseyside and Halton.
2. MRWA operates (via a contract with Veolia Environmental Services) 13 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s) for householders in the Merseyside area wishing to recycle and dispose of their own waste.
3. Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority is responsible for the disposal of municipal waste on Merseyside. Established in 1986 following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, it is a statutory Authority that works with all the local authorities on Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MRWA takes a lead in advocating recycling, waste minimisation and safe and effective disposal of waste for Merseyside residents.
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