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Upcycling charity celebrates £1,000 windfall

A Derbyshire Dales "upcycling" charity that gives a new lease of life to old furniture is celebrating after being awarded a £1,000 community grant.

Encore Re-use of Ashbourne have been given the cash by your District Council to buy essential materials including paint, lacquer, brushes and sandpaper for their furniture re-use business on the Henmore Trading Estate off Mayfield Road.

Encore Re-Use project manager John Howells (second right) receives the £1,000 cheque from Cllr Steve Bull, with Encore staff members Josh Roberts and Anneliese BatesThe community fund was set up jointly by the District Council and its waste and recycling contractor Serco to encourage environmental and recycling projects across the Dales.

Also presented with a cheque for £256 in the latest round of grants is Wirksworth Town Council, which plans to introduce a community equipment bank so litter pickers, bin holders and protective gloves can be loaned out to the community for litter picks.

Encore Re-Use project manager John Howells said:

"We are thrilled to have received this grant. Although we are a charity, we are not externally funded and have to stand on our own feet by giving a new lease of life to pre-loved household goods and furniture and selling hand-painted and refurbished items on at generously discounted prices.

"We provide training, volunteering and employment opportunities for the local community, giving local people a chance to develop their work and social skills.

"Encore re-uses, promotes and encourages recycling and the reduction of household and other goods going to landfill or unsightly fly tipping. Good quality furniture and other items which add to the problem of waste are re-used to help someone else make a home."

Encore Re-Use is also making itself sustainable by running its own upcycling shop on site called Vintage Green.

Chairman of the District Council's Environment Committee, Councillor Steve Bull said:

"Latest official recycling figures from the Rural Services Network show that the Dales is one of the best recycling districts in the whole of England - and recycling and composting rates have rocketed to more than 56% of all household waste since Serco took over the District Council's household collection contract just over two years ago.

"I am delighted the recycling message is hitting home not only in households across the Derbyshire Dales, but also thanks to charities such as Encore Re-Use and enthusiastic community groups that help to keep the recycling message alive, refurbish furniture and prevent it ending up at landfill."

A total of £6,000 is available every year from the grant fund for Derbyshire Dales community groups including schools, parish and town councils, voluntary organisations and charities - and the next round of applications needs to be submitted by 20 March.

The District Council is providing cash to match the £3,600 a year contribution made by Serco as part of the waste and recycling contract, which runs until 2020. It means £7,200 is up for grabs every year, £6,000 for local residents and community groups - £25 is also given away every week to a local resident – selected at random - who recycles properly.

Applications to the grant fund are particularly welcome from local groups which:

  • Organise community litter picks
  • Enhance their local environment
  • Run Environmental Projects
  • Promote composting schemes
  • Want to organise recycling workshops
  • Create vegetable gardens

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