Community Fund News 2020-2021


Fifteen community groups have been awarded a share of £150,000 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 20/21 which was set up to help support waste prevention, re-use and recycling initiatives. The fifteen organisations had to bid for the funding which will give them the financial resource 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 home composting workshops*.

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: “We know that there are a lot of communities concerned about climate change and sustainable living. 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.

“We’ve seen that previous projects 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 have benefited from the Community Fund in the past is ReStore in St Helens. The shop on Peckers Hill Road in Sutton opened its doors to the public in the winter of 2018 and has again been successful in winning funding this year.

Primarily volunteer run, ReStore refurbishes unwanted furniture while also providing opportunities for the long-term unemployed. Using The Hope Centre’s extensive volunteer network participants are being provided with opportunities to learn DIY and retail skills, giving practical experience of working routines to help gain employment.

The Project Manager at ReStore Julie Waring said: “Our project is preventing valuable and reusable materials from being wasted, while at the same time giving local people practical work skills. I’m absolutely thrilled with the success of the shop, the amount of furniture being rescued and the ongoing support of the community.”

The impact of the 2018/19 Fund saw 12 projects divert 673 tonnes of material from disposal, 26,643 people directly engaged, participation by 50,533 volunteers, and a 1419 tonne reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions. The successful organisation have got until June 2021 to deliver their projects.

*The successful projects:

  1. Acronym Community Empowerment – From Disposable to Sustainable Fashion: Participants will learn how to make trendsetting bespoke garments out of everyday items, learn sewing techniques and have an opportunity to enter what they have designed, stitched and produced into a Disposable Fashion show to celebrate the project’s achievements. Newly created pieces will be sold or auctioned to fund further green awareness campaigns to widen the project’s impact or donated to support homeless support services.
  2. British Dietetic Association – Let’s Get Merseyside Saving: the funding will be used to reduce avoidable household food waste through a series of training clubs, a waste-saving tips pamphlet and a community event.
  3. Centre 63 – Remake Yourself: 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 the reuse and recycling of plastic and food waste activities.
  4. Changing Communities – ReStore St Helens: The money will be used for staff support at the ReStore shop in Sutton which sees volunteers upcycle donated/unwanted furniture. This is then sold to the general public.
  5. Emmaus Merseyside – The Reuse Crafting Courtyard: Emmaus Merseyside is a charity that provides a home, as well as education, training and work to people who have experienced homelessness. Emmaus will build on previous work by creating a reuse courtyard and training their Companions in techniques for safe deconstruction and decommissioning of domestic waste items. They will also engage with local schools and communities to raise awareness of the scale of the challenge of waste reduction and how we can each make a difference.
  6. Family Refugee Support Project – Around the World in 80 Dishes: The Family Refugee Support Project (FRSP) provides long-term, specialist psychotherapy and support to refugee and asylum seeking family members in Liverpool. The Around the World in 80 Dishes project would enable FRSP to create cooking classes for all service users run by service users to inform and encourage cooking, reduction of waste and UK seasonal growing.
  7. Global Feedback Ltd – Your Food Needs You: a programme of quirky, high-profile food-waste-busting events, pop-up ‘Food Labs’ and urban harvesting days will bring Merseyside communities together to learn about, appreciate and enjoy food, and simultaneously reduce waste.
  8. Groundwork – Let’s Speke About Food: a programme of practical cookery sessions, a set of 6 recipes using leftovers, and home composting workshops in South Liverpool will aim to minimise household waste associated with food.
  9. Hoylake and West Kirby Sea Cadets – Waste Not Want Not: Two teenage sea cadets will run this waste project which will encourage recycling, reuse and waste prevention at the Hoylake and West Kirby Sea Cadets unit on Grange Road, West Kirby.
  10. Liverpool World Centre – 10 Tonne Clothing Channel: This project will reduce the amount of textiles going to waste by raising awareness of textile consumption and waste; enlisting schools in the 10 Tonne Challenge to recycle textiles; engaging 9 schools champions to learn about the textile journey of an individual garment, and create innovative case studies for how to reduce, reuse and recycle.
  11. Regenerus – The Big Community Clean Up: This will prevent food waste through engagement with local residents via various activities including a hands on ‘glean’ at a farm or urban forage trip; learning about different ways to freeze / preserve / store produce at practical food workshops; learning to cook and eat that produce together at community meals.
  12. United Giving Ltd – United Together: This will look to increase reuse and prevent and reduce waste with a unique “united together” project supporting emergency tenancies and tenants in most need referred by the housing officers of Riverside Housing, social workers and Halton Asylum seekers, Brennan Lodge and numerous other organisations that support the transition of people from homelessness to having their own place to live.
  13. Wirral Change Ltd – The Community Reward Scheme: The funding will help to reintroduce a Community Reward Scheme offering incentives for people who recycle. The project will also show people how to up-cycle waste and prevent items from going to waste.
  14. Wirral Hospice St Johns – Recycle, Reuse and Relove: The adult hospice aims to encourage more Wirral residents to help reuse and recycle their unwanted and preloved items and generate income for local hospice care.
  15. Wirral Youth Zone – Waste Not Want Not @ The Hive: will provide young people who attend The Hive with the knowledge, skills, confidence to cook simple, healthy and well-balanced meals through cooking sessions “challenges” and food shopping. The project wants to ensure young people can learn to cook healthy food on a budget and save money for their family whilst learning and thinking about food and waste as a resource to be valued.

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 2020/21 has seen 15 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 £151,854.25