‘Refresh’ is an award winning partnership between Magenta Living, Wirral Council and Wirral Environmental Network (WEN). An up-cycling project using unwanted materials and furniture from Magenta Living’s empty properties and Bulky Environmental Refuse Team (BERT) service, Refresh prevents items going to landfill, minimising waste and hopefully reducing fly tipping.
Refresh aims to encourage Magenta Living tenants and the wider community to volunteer and up-cycle furniture by providing residents with renovated and refreshed furniture for use in their homes. Magenta Living has also used the service to furnish some of their properties to provide an attractive and much needed support for new tenants.
To kick-start the project, a well attended engagement workshop took place using an empty Magenta Living flat in Seacombe. Volunteers were involved in creating mood boards, painting, joinery and decorating unwanted furniture items used to furnish the flat and bring it back to life, whilst learning new skills in the process.
The Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Ann McLachlan who officially opened the show flat said:
“I was delighted and surprised to see the fantastic job which had been made of the furniture, which fully kitted out the flat. It looked fantastic – the volunteers were so proud of their work and I have to say they were all very skilled, with lots of flair and imagination – whether painting, recovering or putting the whole scheme together.
“Anybody would be proud to live in that flat with such great decor and furniture. This is a great example of how different organisations working together, in this case Magenta Living, WEN and the Council, can produce such positive outcomes.”
Wirral based Survitec Group, a survival solutions company, kindly donated up-cycled life raft bases that were used as planters for floral displays. Paula Cooper, Survitec’s Environmental Health and Safety Co-ordinator, pictured with the Mayor of Wirral, said: “It was an honour to meet the Mayor and also to help support the local community through this fantastic environmental project.”
The Refresh project won a Level 4 ‘Thriving’ award at the Royal Horticultural Society, North West In Bloom, ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards 2017’ for the fabulous floral displays the volunteers made out of various unwanted materials.
John Mycock, Assistant Director of Housing Services at Magenta Living said: “Magenta Living residents have been involved in the Refresh project from the start and it’s great to see what they have achieved. By volunteering and learning new skills this has encouraged them to improve their personal well-being and discover talents that they probably didn’t realise they had.”
Due to the success of this project and the show flat, Magenta Living, Wirral Council and WEN will be opening a new Refresh shop on Hoole Road, Woodchurch. This will be used for training in up-cycling with a space available to display the up-cycled furniture, ready for people from the community to use in their home.
For further information about the Refresh project, contact Maureen Davies, Magenta Living’s Environmental Services Manager on 0808 100 9596.