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NEWS: Mersey community groups secure £165,000 funding to help reduce waste

Carmel college Garden

Seventeen community groups have been awarded a share of £165,000 to help the Liverpool City Region reduce, re-use and recycle more.

The money has come from the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 21/22 which helps to support local waste prevention, re-use and recycling initiatives.

The seventeen organisations had to bid for the funding which will give them the financial resources to deliver waste-reducing behavioural change projects across the region.

Programmes include cookery clubs to reduce food waste, community recycling hubs, sewing classes and craft clubs, upcycling and restoration of unwanted furniture, clothes recycling and a cloth nappy lending library*.

Project applications had to tackle one or more of the four priority household waste materials which have been identified by MRWA as key, namely Food, Plastics, Textiles and Furniture. An analysis of waste in the Liverpool City Region highlighted that a greater amount of these materials could be re-used or recycled. Projects can also include other household waste materials, for example paper, card, metals.

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Tony Concepcion, said: “There are a lot of communities concerned about climate change and sustainable living – giving groups the opportunity to look after the environment can bring benefits to all of us and can help appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which might be just thrown away.

“Projects we have previously funded have continued to deliver benefits beyond the first year, through their legacy and ongoing impact on behavioural change, and in many cases through new or continuing activities.

“There has been some disruption with the Coronavirus pandemic but we’re confident that these projects will go ahead. I wish them all the best and look forward to seeing the impact they have.”

One organisation to receive funding is Carmel College in St Helens which has clinched £8000. The Catholic Sixth Form College also received Community Fund money in 2018 for its Foundation Learning Department’s Sensory Garden, which was created using reclaimed materials.

Lauren Molyneux, Foundation Learning Tutor at Carmel College, said: “Our previous project used the funding to create an amazing space in what was previously an overgrown patch of ground, using unwanted and reclaimed materials. This time round we’re holding workshops which will equip students with the skills to reuse and repurpose old and unwanted furniture and clothes, plus teaching them how to grow their own food. We’re looking forward to getting started!”

The successful organisations have got until March 2022 to deliver their projects.


Note to editors

  • Image caption – launch of a previous Community Fund project Carmel College’s Sensory Garden, St Helens.
  • *The successful projects:

Big Help Project – No Waste Food Club: this will set up six new Community Food Partnerships to reduce food wastage, aiming for 200 new members per Partnership. Will also include access to other services such as debt advice, housing support, employability, skills training.

The Bread Streets Group – Waste Not, Want Not: this Liverpool-based project will hold six workshops on how to reduce and reuse food, plastics and clothes/textiles, plus a litter pick.

Bridge2 CIC – Reimagine: this project will see textiles and furniture collected and donated to support vulnerable communities, three furniture reuse courses and four textile reuse workshops.

Brunswick Youth & Community Centre – Make a Meal of it: this project in Sefton will host 10 weekly food skills training sessions with local families. They will be taught how to grow their own produce, use leftover, cook on a budget and how to freeze food correctly.

Carmel Sixth Form College – Sustainable Steps Toward Sustainability: the College will hold 26 weekly workshops and events for students on how to reuse furniture, textiles and food growing.

Centre 63 – Remake Yourself Hub: this ongoing programme will continue to provide sewing classes and upcycling furniture workshops while supporting the skill development of young women. It will concentrate on unwanted furniture and textiles and the Centre 63 youth club will be focused on litter picking, repair workshops and food waste activities.

Changing Communities CIC – ReStore St Helens: the reuse and recycle shop in Sutton will host a series of furniture upcycling workshops, offer donations to local vulnerable residents and set up seven school reading corners.

Community Integrated Care – Sustainability in Social Care: CIC will establish five new community collection hubs, host waste reduction and re-use events (for example, textile & furniture swapping and food waste avoidance workshops) and look to reuse materials within the social care sector. They will also create a full-time waste prevention specialist and part-time food waste avoidance champion while supporting 20 volunteers, giving opportunities for people with care and support needs.

Dovecot and Princess Drive Community Association – Recycle, Refashion, ReCreate: includes clothes/textiles and food workshops to be held in local schools, five family food workshops, 13 sewing in the community sessions, seven re-fashioning sessions and a fashion show and recycling competition.

Farm Urban – Future Food Heroes: working with six primary schools this project will set up a food ecosystem in each class and help create future food ambassadors.

Halton Play Council – Make Use and Lend Halton: the Runcorn-based charity will use the funding to host 10 reuse & repair craft workshops, four swishing and textiles sales events, as well as collecting textiles for redistribution and a toy lending library.

Liverpool Cloth Nappy Library – Sustainable Starts: will look to reduce plastic pollution through a lending library which will provide a reusable nappy kit and advice to parents. Will look to engage with 50 families as well as host three community pop-up events.

Liverpool Lighthouse – Liverpool Re-Fashion: this will see 26 weekly refashioning workshops help, three enterprise workshops and an exhibition at a fashion show.

Liverpool World Centre – Fashion Fix: a clothes/textiles project for schools, trainee teachers and parents, engaging with 4,000 people. LWC will create 20 Fashion Fixers and Climate Champions to help raise awareness and influence reuse, recycling of textiles and reduction of textile waste.

Make It Happen Birkenhead Ltd – Textiles as treasure: Make It Happen will employ a Textiles Champion to help establish a Community Shop, host 22 training sessions in sewing and crafts and sell the items in the shop.

Pioneer People Wirral – Street Ahead: this scheme will host a variety of neighbourhood exchange/garage sale events and 12 community centre events with donated items and upcycled items made by the Shed Heads project. Will also offer bikes refurbished at Liverpool Prison and send tools and clothes to Gambia to support local enterprise.

Wirral Change Ltd – Repaired Again: this project will work with ethnic communities to hold 20 food waste workshops, 20 textiles upcycling sewing classes and three community events.

  • 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 – Halton, 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 2021/22 has seen 17 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. Funding total is £164,999.38.

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
General enquiries: 0151 255 1444