Recycling project to build community bridges

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Smithdown Road, Liverpool, where the Community Living Room Workshops will take placePic © Paul Holloway / Wikimedia Commons

Smithdown Road, Liverpool, where the Community Living Room Workshops will take place. Pic © Paul Holloway / Wikimedia Commons

A new recycling initiative aims to help strengthen the city’s relationship with the travelling community.

The Community Living Room Workshops will address the issue of waste and will take place in the Smithdown Road area of Liverpool. These workshops will be open to all but with a specific focus on the Roma people and students.

The series of workshops is organised by Granby Toxteth Development Trust (GTDT), which has recruited a Roma Community Development Worker to assist them with translation and relations with the community.

Julie Aitchinson, of GTDT, told JMU Journalism: “Our main priority as an organisation and at these events in the first instance is bringing communities together. Free homemade soup, free energy saving/recycling giveaways, free energy advice, and a mosaic workshop – these activities happen at all our community living rooms.”

Low recycling rates in the area are what encouraged GTDT to set up the flagship project. The workshops will teach people how to reuse, repair and recycle to save 65 tonnes of material that would normally have gone to a landfill.

It is hoped that the project will also help the community to mix with people they wouldn’t normally, and to aid people whose first language isn’t English to form relationships with others in Liverpool.

Part of the funding was received from The Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Communities Living Sustainably’ and is one of only 12 projects across the UK.

A spokesperson for the Big Lottery Fund told JMU Journalism: “Granby Toxteth Development Trust were awarded close to £1million to deliver an initiative to promote local food growing, energy generation and to educate people on the impact of climate change and the measures they can take to improve their lives.”

GTDT has previously used a recycling campaign to work with students in the Smithdown Road area to help relieve exam stress.

About Hannah Rogers, JMU Journalism