Bray char­ity Five Loaves recog­nis­ing the power of up­cy­cling

Bray People - - NEWS - (by Mary Fogarty)

THERE IS A CY­CLE of re­cy­cling at the Five Loaves char­ity shop that be­gins with some­one mak­ing a do­na­tion, and in the case of 2013 ended with the pur­chase of a house for the home­less char­ity.

Lo­cated at Bray Re­cy­cling Cen­tre off the Boghall Road, peo­ple bring items into the store which may not be suit­able for the re­cy­cling cen­tre as they ei­ther clear out a house, or just wish to dis­pose of one piece.

One of their more re­cent ini­tia­tives, and a very vis­i­ble ‘re­cy­cling’ com­po­nent of the shop, is the fur­ni­ture ‘up­cy­cling’ ini­tia­tive.

It was of­fi­cially launched last Oc­to­ber as a sec­tion in the Five Loaves shop. Old wooden fur­ni­ture is given a new lease of life with sand­ing and a coat of chalk paint.

‘It’s amaz­ing the way it ac­tu­ally turns out,’ said An­nette Plun­kett of Five Loaves.

As the old adage goes, one man’s trash is an­other man’s trea­sure, and a the Five Loaves shop there is a ver­i­ta­ble trea­sure trove of beautiful items lov­ingly re­cy­cled by their team.

‘It has proven re­ally worth­while,’ said An­nette. She said that the shop is in fact the main source of in­come for Five Loaves.

A lot of work goes into the projects to re­cy­cle the fur­ni­ture and bring it to life by mem­bers of a com­mu­nity em­ploy­ment scheme. They work at the shop and have also done train­ing in how to re­store the pieces brought into the cen­tre.

‘ The end prod­uct is not an overnight trans­for­ma­tion,’ said An­nette, who added that the items have been very pop­u­lar.

Af­ter be­ing res­cued from be­ing dumped and on their jour­ney to an­other home where they will be for gen­er­a­tions hope­fully, the items of re­stored fur­ni­ture also help peo­ple to achieve a new skill.

Three women have de­vel­oped their skills in learn­ing how to make the best of the tired and dated pieces.

An­nette said that there is a huge amount of good­will to­wards Five Loaves and the shop has been do­ing well. ‘We sell ev­ery­thing ex­cept chil­dren’s toys or elec­tri­cal goods,’ she said.

Most of what they get is good qual­ity, and fit for re­sale. ‘Al­most ev­ery­thing we get in is saleable,’ she said. This feeds into the ‘re­duce, re-use, re­cy­cle’ model. When do­ing a clear-out at home, think twice about whether some­thing should go into the skip, or whether some­one else might find value in it.

Old cups and saucers can be crafted into bird-feed­ers or can­dles. Cloth­ing be­yond sell­ing can be sold on in bun­dles by the char­ity. And all of that re­cy­cling gen­er­ates an in­come for the or­gan­i­sa­tion which sup­ports the home­less peo­ple of County Wicklow.

The CE scheme helps oth­ers get back into em­ploy­ment, and at the start of the process, the orig­i­nal owner of the items can de-clut­ter with­out un­duly dam­ag­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

Some of the up­cy­cled pieces at Five Loaves.

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