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Furniture transformation project supporting homeless initiatives (12 Jan 2017)

A project supporting homeless people in Sefton is using upcycling and furniture restoration training to enable homeless and unemployed people to get back into their own accommodation and gain valuable employment skills.

The ‘Upcycle It (Sefton) Project is run by the Emmaus Merseyside charity, and has been supported by a £8,000 Community Fund Grant from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and Veolia Community Fund to set up the project which produces a range of upcycled and restored furniture to be sold in their Superstore in Sefton.

The project is currently training six individuals including Margi Allen who said: “The Up-Cycle It project is great. We get training in how to change old shabby pieces of furniture into attractive articles again. We improve our skills whilst things that might be thrown away can be given a new life! Everyone wins!”

Nigel Mellor, Chair of Board of Trustees for Emmaus in Merseyside said: “The training will give our volunteers even more useful skills which we need to reuse and recycle more household items donated by the public. Many of the volunteers are unemployed so we hope the skills training and volunteer experience will ultimately help them get back into employment. The project also helps to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.”

Cllr Graham Morgan, Chairperson of MRWA said: “We’re pleased to be supporting a project that proves its value by not only improving people’s lives – but also diverting furniture from landfill.

Carl Beer, MRWA Chief Executive said: “It’s great to see items that would have been thrown away get a ‘second life’.”

The project is running for the next three months – with the hope that the training will continue and will be integrated into the operations of the Superstore.

All upcycled furniture is available to buy from the Emmaus Superstore, 38 Sandy Road, Seaforth, Sefton, L21 3TW
Tel: 0151 9281588, Opening hours Mon – Sat, 10.00am – 4.00 pm.

ENDS

Image caption L to R: Carl Beer, Chief Executive – Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority, Cllr Graham Morgan, Chairperson Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority, Annie Crew (Emmaus), Margi Allen (Emmaus) and Nigel Mellor, Chair of Board of Trustees for Emmaus in Merseyside.

For media enquiries please contact Colette Gill, Tel: 0151 255 2527 colette.gill@merseysidewda.gov.uk
Notes for editors

(i) The MRWA Community Fund was open to community and voluntary sector groups, not for profit social enterprises and schools in Merseyside and Halton.

(ii) Emmaus Merseyside – ‘Upcycle It’ (Sefton) Project: ‘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.

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

(iv) 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.

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.

Ends

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