Our Community Sector Development Officer and manager of the Lancashire Community Recycling Network writes about the Network’s recent conference for Lancashire’s community waste management organisations with some links for more information on the topics raised…
Lancashire CRN’s annual conference ‘Working Better Together 2015’ was held at Recycling Lives in Preston on 28th May 2015. Our conference is traditionally held in February each year, but this year we put it back to follow the General Election… We used the opportunity to celebrate our most outstanding year to date, promote our exceptional members, network and absorb some national best practice.
Welcome address from LCC’s Deputy Leader
Late last year, Lancashire County Cllr David Borrow added his voice to those across the country calling for the Government to maintain central welfare funding to support people in crisis. Lancashire CRN also responded to this consultation on behalf of the Network, and we were all delighted when central funding was secured for 2015-16.
Cllr Borrow welcomed Lancashire CRN’s members and guests and praised the Network’s award-winning Care and Urgent Need Support Scheme, Lancashire’s “ultimate safety net” and that the Authority’s partnership with the community sector means tax payers get much better value than if it were working with a big private company from outside of Lancashire.
Although they have set aside reserves for anti-poverty work, the scale of reductions faced by the Authority is huge. Lancashire County Council is half way through its major restructure in response to this. Cllr Borrow told the audience that the Authority wants to work more closely with the third sector to deliver added value services to address need across the region.
Lancashire CRN’s most OUTSTANDING year to date
Cllr Borrow’s welcome address was followed by the Network’s manager Dawn Welham who promoted Lancashire CRN’s membership year 2014-15 – “our most outstanding year to date”. Dawn promoted the Lancashire CRN’s Red Rose Resource Award winners and the 8 organisations delivering the nationally award winning Care and Urgent Need Support Scheme, in partnership with Selnet and Lancashire County Council. She promoted the new projects that Global Renewables are focussing on on behalf of Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council and asked organisations to get in touch if you would like any assistance.
Thank you to all of Lancashire CRN’s members for being a part of our fantastic Network – You can renew your membership or join Lancashire CRN here.
Dawn urged groups to share good news and milestones so that Lancashire CRN can promote them, to join the Network on social media (@LancashireCRN) and to ask for support where it is needed.
Addressing food poverty (first helping): About Sustainable Food Lancashire and getting involved
Our next presentation was from Kay Johnson from Sustainable Food Lancashire. Kay promoted SFL’s Charter which was launched on 5th March this year and asked any organisations involved in food growing, education and addressing food poverty to get involved.
Food plays a vital role in improving individual and population health and wellbeing; as well as dealing with some of Lancashire’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems. From obesity and diet-related ill-health to food poverty and waste, climate change and biodiversity, food is not only at the heart of some of the greatest problems, but also a vital part of the solution. The Charter was developed through focus groups across 2014 with over 300 people involved in food related activities, and identified 6 key goals:
- Promote healthy and sustainable food to the public
- Tackle food poverty and diet-related ill health
- Build community food knowledge, skills and resources
- Promote a diverse and vibrant food economy
- Transform catering and food procurement
- Reduce waste and the ecological footprint of the food system
There are 7 local action groups across Lancashire working on issues important to their local areas – click here to attend the next meeting in your local area.
Addressing food poverty (second helping): Food Poverty Network from Community Solutions NW
Although Mark was unable to join us on the day, Dawn promoted CSNW’s Food Poverty Network, a network of individuals and organisations who are intent on tackling food poverty with real and lasting solutions. It is not a network of events and meetings but a forum for sharing best practice and resources to make a lasting impact on a national crisis.
If you are interested in joining Food Poverty Network please complete the Expression of Interest form and return it to email@example.com.
Recycling Lives – our company, charity and a brand new project…
At the conference our Vice Chair Dave Allen gave an introduction to Recycling Lives, a Queen’s Award-winning commercial recycler with over forty years’ experience in the recycling and waste management industry. Their commercial services help to support their social welfare charity, which helps vulnerable people to work their way back to independent living.
Dave also announced that Recycling Lives will be hosting Lancashire’s first FareShare, a charity which takes surplus food, redistributes it to local partner organisations who use it to feed people in need. The service will be launched in September – in the meantime, the team are hard at work getting their new warehouse ready!
One minute promos – introductions from the audience
One person from each organisation introduced their organisation, shared the biggest success story of the last year and who they were looking to speak to before the end of the conference; this allowed everyone in the room to identify who to swap business cards with for future conversations; the networking break was a flurry of activity as people spoke to their colleagues!
WRAP’s Electricals Sustainability Action Plan (ESAP)
Agata Wolk-Lewanowicz joined us from Oxfordshire to talk about WRAP’s ESAP research into the lifecycles of electrical items, disposal habits of consumers, repair ability of goods.
The average home contains around £1,200 worth of electrical and electronic equipment but many householders don’t realise their used products still have significant value – this value amounts to around £3 billion across the UK.
Electrical items are the least likely of all items to be repaired; less than one in three consumers repaired a broken TV or a small home electrical item and just 18% repaired a broken small kitchen electrical item. The exception is computers/laptops/tablets – over half (51%) of consumers who had these items break in the past year had them repaired. WRAP are working on increasing durability of products by working with Retailers technical and buying teams.
esap will build on the work of WRAP’s Electronic Products ‘Pathfinder’ Group by partnering with a wider range of stakeholders from the sector.
A broad range of organisations and businesses across the sector have already signed up to say that they will ‘Play their part in working with WRAP to develop and implement ESAP.’
Watch iFixit video with Kyle Wiens for WRAP Resources Limited conference
Watch LG Electronics video with Steve Beaman for WRAP Resources Limited conference
Click here for a more in-depth summary of ESAP.
London Reuse Network case study
Richard Featherstone, founder of the national Furniture Reuse Network, and Development Manager of the London Reuse Network (and font of knowledge on all things reuse), joined us for the day from London. With an £8M grant/loan from Boris Johnson, London’s reuse sector set about identifying a ‘solution to suit a city’, to prevent waste in the capital, specifically by working in partnership for more effective reuse in partnership.
The LRN aimed to establish a system of collection, refurbishment and redistribution that maximizes the community, economic and environmental benefits of reuse, ultimately wanting reuse to be as normal as recycling is now.
The LRN has a strong brand which uses household items to create a silhouette of the London skyline. The partners’ vehicles in particular serve as a strong and consistent, strong profile raiser and remind the public to donate wanted furniture and household items for charity. A central hotline charges the same for a reusable collection as for bulky waste collections, which is linked to borough call centers for waste items. Booking and payments are also taken online; all of which offers customers choice and provides a slick, integrated service that facilitates reuse.
This video shows how the partnership service works.
Integrate and The Woodhouse
Peter Green rounded off our annual conference with a case study on Integrate (Preston and Chorley) Ltd and the Woodhouse. Integrate support people with learning disabilities to live their life to the full in the community of their choice by providing the support services that help them successfully negotiate the demands and opportunities to fully develop their lives in that community.
Based at Stocks Road, Ashton, Integrate’s social enterprise The Woodhouse offers a commercial wood recycling service – which has grown to become the largest wood recycling enterprise in the northwest. At The Woodhouse, adults with learning disabilities have a real life experience and skill development in a work environment.
The Woodhouse team collect and sort unwanted and surplus construction wood (for the same price as a company would have to pay for a skip to dispose of it) but instead take it back to their warehouse, sort and grade the wood to sell, or use it to manufacture products like planters, benches and even dog houses and sheds. Back in April 2013 The Woodhouse was diverting an average of 6 tonnes per week, two years on they are diverting an average of 25 tonnes per week! That’s an impressive 1300 tonnes per year, not going to landfill and reducing the environmental impact of large scale construction.
Annual General Meeting
We were delighted to welcome 5 new members onto Lancashire CRN’s Management Committee at our AGM, giving us a full contingent of 12. Click here for a summary of our full board.
For Lancashire CRN’s Chair’s report and annual accounts email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building Better Opportunities: The Time Has Come.
One Lancashire hosted a roundtable feedback session for stakeholders interested in European funding. For some time, One Lancashire have been working towards the Building Better Opportunities programme for Lancashire – financed by the Big Lottery Fund and European Structural Investment Funds.
The workshop was an opportunity to plan a workable and effective model that will achieve the necessary outcomes. The funding round is expected to open in early June and the third sector must work together to put together two strong, coherent bids that have the best chance of success.