Community groups participate in restoration and upcycling initiative

Community groups participate in restoration and upcycling initiative

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Edelle Costelloe of Clare County Council’s Environment section pictured with Tommy Whitney (centre) and Frank McNamara (right) of Ennis Mens Shed at the display of upcycled and restored items in Áras Contae an Chláir.
Edelle Costelloe of Clare County Council’s Environment section pictured with Tommy Whitney (centre) and Frank McNamara (right) of Ennis Mens Shed at the display of upcycled and restored items in Áras Contae an Chláir.

Used furniture and household items that have been restored and upcycled by community and voluntary organisations from across Clare have been placed on display in the foyer of Áras Contae an Chláir as part of National Reuse Month.

Clare County Council’s Environment Section has provided funding under its Waste Prevention Programme to thirteen local groups in an effort to support communities to take steps on waste prevention, re-use and repair activities in their local areas, and to encourage partnership between local businesses, local schools, charities, community and voluntary groups.

The groups, which are undertaking workshops in relation to upcycling and furniture restoration, include West Clare Resource Centre (Older Persons Group), Ennis Mens Shed, East Clare Walks Ltd (Tulla), Ennis Community Development Project, Shannon Mens Shed, Kilmurry Mens Shed and North West Clare Family Resource Centre.

“As a nation we need to rethink how we do things in order to prevent waste, find ways to keep items in use longer and not generate as much waste in the first place,” commented Karen Foley, Environmental Awareness Officer, Clare County Council.

She continued, “It’s about rethinking the way we do things and redesigning the items we use. It’s also about changing attitudes and changing behaviours about what we buy and what we throw away, but most of all, working together and thinking creatively to do something about it.”

Frank McNamara of Ennis Mens Shed, a community-based organisation which is open to all men, described the initiative as a “great opportunity for our group to come together and come up with creative ideas to inspire the wider community to think about waste and its value before throwing it away.”

“We were delighted to receive critical funding to make these workshops happen and being involved in County Clare’s Waste Prevention Programme provides a great sense of purpose. The work we carried out in our workshops is helping towards making our community more environmentally sustainable for future generations,” he added.

Among the other groups participating in the display at Áras Contae an Chláir is ‘The Textile Crew’, a group of women who have been supported by the North West Clare Family Resource Centre in Ennistymon since 2012. Each week they meet to provide support and learn from one another in their textile creations. They create fine lace crochet, free form crochet, hyperbolic crochet, plane and lace knitting, perform yarn bombing in public spaces and upcycle textiles and other materials.

They have recently learned skills in dry felting using raw wool, and will learn how to make new household articles out of old clothes while attending a course focusing on upcycling of textiles that has been funded by the Waste Management Grant from the Environment Section of Clare County Council and organised by the Family Resource Centre. Anyone interested in working with textiles is invited to join the group every Wednesday from 10am to 1pm at the North West Clare Family Resource Centre in Ardnaculla, Ennistymon (Tel 065 7071144).

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