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Caerphilly County Borough Tackling Social Isolation with Recycled Items

Caerphilly County Borough Council and Wastesavers have joined forces with mental health charity Growing Space to run a recycling programme that delivers new skills, employment support, and volunteer opportunities for residents across Caerphilly County Borough.

Using a designated space at Penallta Reuse Shop, Growing Space now operates an educational program that includes both accredited and non-accredited qualifications for participants.

As part of the programme participants learn the valuable skills needed to upcycle household items that would otherwise be left for landfill. Last year alone, Wastesavers saved tens of thousands of household items (more than 620 tonnes worth) from being dumped in skips. These items are restored and then used as stock at the Wastesavers Retail stores.

This partnership tackles social isolation by providing opportunities for growth through employment, volunteering, new skills and a sense of self-worth, discussing the partnership Operations Director Gavin Mote commented:

“Both Growing Space and Wastesavers are well aligned when it comes to tackling social isolation for residents across the Caerphilly Borough.

“Participants referred to our programme not only learn new skills, but they’re also exposed to a wide range of opportunities including employment and volunteering support. Here they will gain a huge amount of self-worth by upcycling previously unwanted items and give them a new lease of life all within a safe and supportive environment.

“This partnership also provides an excellent opportunity to further educate on the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling”

Councillor Chris Morgan, Cabinet Member for Waste, Leisure & Green spaces said: “We opened Penallta Reuse Shop in October 2022, in partnership with Wastesavers, as our next steps in our journey to becoming a carbon neutral authority, but also because of the social and economic benefits that reuse has on a community.

“We are thrilled to announce our newest partnership with Growing Spaces, which will ensure that this space continues to be beneficial to our residents.”

Wastesavers Charity Manager, Alun Harries added, “This partnership is a great example of collaborative work with likeminded organisations to help deliver Welsh Government’s ‘Beyond Recycling’ strategy, and is key to providing environmental, social and economic benefits to all our communities.”