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(20 March 2019) Pioneering charity clocks up 10,000 volunteer hours to help boost re-use and recycling

Volunteers for a local charity have worked tirelessly for thousands of hours over the last year to help reduce, re-use and recycle across Wirral.

Pioneer People Wirral have been collecting bicycles, tools, furniture, clothes, scrap wood and scrap metal since April 2018 and in doing so have stopped over 11 tonnes of useful materials from going to waste. Over that time local helpers have contributed 10,664 volunteer hours to spread positive environmental messages.

The Pensby-based organisation have been delivering the Inside Art & Upcycle Project using money received from a waste grant to help inspire re-use and recycling across Wirral. They were awarded over £7000 from the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA) and Veolia Community Fund 2018/19, which was set up to help support waste prevention, re-use and recycling projects.

Donated clothing is sorted then sold locally, sent for recycling or shipped to Africa. Furniture, wood and metal are up-cycled by volunteers and sold through the charity’s shops with funds re-invested in local community projects. Tools are refurbished and used in a local community workshop, upcycled or shipped overseas. Pioneer People have two charity shops, a monthly warehouse sale, links to social welfare charities and also send two 40 foot shipping containers each year to Kenya and Gambia.

A partnership with Liverpool Prison has been a key part of the project with inmates learning new skills – such as welding, forging metal and general DIY – to help repair old or broken bicycles. Over 300 bikes have been refurbished and sold.

Prisoners have also been using waste materials to create art pieces which have been sold through Pioneer People’s charity shops.

Mark Johnston, Project Director at Pioneer People, said: “Enabling prisoners to learn new skills, gain qualifications and make a contribution to society are all critical elements in reducing re-offending. The positive activities and recognition of skills can genuinely help reduce self-harm, drug misuse and suicide attempts and massively aid resettlement into the community upon release.

“Regarding our volunteers, many of them report that involvement helps reduce social isolation, especially some of our retired men who can find it hard coming to terms with the end of a career. Much of the refurbishing activity is also really good exercise. Bringing very affordable bikes to the market place helps encourage the take up of exercise and reduce the reliance on cars and public transport.”

Councillor Tony Concepcion, Chairperson of MRWA, said: “We’re astonished at the number of hours the Pioneer People volunteers – and prisoners – have put in to help increase recycling and re-use. They are giving up their own time to make a real difference to the community they live in. I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone involved in this brilliant project.”

ENDS

Note to editors

– Image caption – (L to R) Mark Johnson of Pioneer People with project volunteers at an end of project event in the Pioneer People charity salesroom and warehouse, Arrowe Park. (Other pictures are available on request).

– Pioneer People Wirral is a Christian charity which focusses on providing community services within the Wirral and overseas countries, mainly Albania, Kenya and The Gambia. Local provision focuses on young people, people with disabilities, social enterprise and volunteering. For more info see www.pioneerpeople.org/about

– 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.

– MRWA operates (via a contract with resource management company Veolia) 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s) for householders in the Merseyside area wishing to recycle and dispose of their own waste.

– The MRWA and Veolia Community Fund 2018/19 has seen 14 community groups from Merseyside and Halton receive a funding boost to help make the region a cleaner and greener place. The financial support will see the groups help reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use, and prevent carbon emissions. For more information see http://www.merseysidewda.gov.uk/waste-strategy/community-fund/community-fund-201819/

Members of the media for more information please contact:

John Lally
Marketing and Communications Officer
Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority
Direct Dial: 0151 255 2568
John.lally@merseysidewda.gov.uk
General enquiries: 0151 255 1444

Seaforth Charity Emmaus Celebrates Major Milestone

A Sefton charity is looking to expand just months after opening the doors of a Seaforth superstore selling quality used furniture.

The Recycling Superstore in Sandy Road only opened in June but operators Emmaus Merseyside are already looking for space to add to their 7,000 square foot base after selling 5 tonnes of furniture in just one month.

The project is backed by a £14,500 grant from the Community Fund operated by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA). Emmaus Merseyside was set up to stop used furniture going to landfill and to provide local homeless people with new residential accommodation. In addition, they offer training and work opportunities together with personal support to enable people to rebuild their lives and move on to live independently.

Nigel Mellor, of Emmaus Merseyside, said: “The first few months have been incredible – both in terms of the amount and quality furniture that has been donated and the volume of furniture we’ve then managed to sell to the public.

“Last month alone over 5 tonnes of furniture went out of here – that’s 5 tonnes save from landfill and all helps towards our aim of supporting local homeless people. We’re now looking at additional storage space so we can collect even more donations from the public.”

Donations so far range from regular domestic furniture to office suites, Rosenthal soup bowls, pre-loved clothing and even a parrot cage.

MRWA chairperson Councillor Graham Morgan said: “The Recycling Superstore is such a great idea and has proved its value already in simply diverting furniture from landfill. The opening of the new homeless hostel it supports will mean even more people in the community reap the benefits.”

Emmaus Merseyside’s new 28 bed supported housing scheme is currently under construction and will open in the spring.

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Picture caption:

MRWA chief executive Carl Beer, right,  is pictured with Nigel Mellor outside the superstore.

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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Further information from Jon Flinn on 0151 709 0505