Wirral community organisation creating a buzz for furniture rescue and repair

A Wirral community organisation is using money received from an environmental fund to help stop furniture from going to waste.

Birkenhead-based Bee Wirral CIC has clinched £5760 from the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA) and Veolia Community Fund to help deliver the ‘Refresh: preloved furniture’ project. The money is being used to train up volunteers who can repair and refurbish unwanted furniture and pass it on to a new home.

The project is being run in conjunction with Wirral Council and local housing association, Magenta Living, who are supplying the furniture from their empty properties.

Lorraine Anderson, Director at Bee Wirral, said, “Refresh is all about reusing and recycling furniture and preventing it from going to waste. We are using the funding to deliver furniture cleaning, repair and restoration skills to our volunteers, teaching them how simple techniques such as painting, waxing, stencilling and decoupage can transform donated items.

“By undertaking some minor improvements unwanted furniture can be restored and repurposed to become a desirable item for a new home.”

The MRWA funding has enabled the recruitment of a driver’s mate and handyman, which is allowing Bee Wirral to pick up and deliver more furniture donations than they could previously. Families who need furniture liaise through Magenta Living and are able to choose restored items they need for their home.

As well as learning repair and refurbishment skills any volunteers recruited to assist with the Refresh project are included on the Bee Wirral staff and volunteer training programme where they receive first aid, safeguarding and employability skills teaching.

By the time the project has ended, Bee Wirral hopes they will have saved 25 tonnes of material from going to waste, engaged with 100 people, and delivered 340 hours of training to 16 volunteers.

Lesley Worswick, Chief Executive of Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority, said, “We were really impressed with this project by Bee Wirral as we can give them the financial support to deliver a project where usable furniture doesn’t even make it into the waste stream but instead back into people’s homes. This is such a great scheme and I’d like to give everyone involved a huge thank you for their efforts.”

To get involved with Bee Wirral call 0151 647 7587 or email info@beewirral.co.uk

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