Community scheme to benefit from paint recycling campaign

A social enterprise scheme in Blackburn has received a major boost from Crown Paints.

Tim Bradley 23.09.2015 Crown Paints has donated paint to the ReUse Together social enterprise venture Glenfield Business Park, Phillips Road, Blackburn. Pictured here are (l-r) Volunteer Stephen Parker, Rachel Demaine Sustainability Technology Officer at Crown Paints and Paul O'Brien of ReUse Together.

The ReUse Together Centre was set up 18 months ago to provide a low-cost alternative for furniture, white goods and other household items.

It relies on volunteers to help turn donated items and diverted landfill into desirable products for low-income families.

Now the Glenfield Business Park centre has become the latest beneficiary of a community scheme run by Crown Paints, based in nearby Darwen.

The company’s Kick Out The Can initiative gives householders the chance to clear sheds, garages and cupboards of unwanted paint.

Tins are handed in to each Crown Decorating Centre around the country before being reprocessed and donated to community projects in their area.

The ReUse Together Centre was chosen as the winning recipient by staff at Crown’s Blackburn store and the community-led venture has now received 70 litres of recycled paint to use on forthcoming projects.

The centre gives volunteers and apprentices the chance to learn new skills alongside mentors in special craft and sewing clubs.

Finished items, from furniture and electrical goods to beds and carpet tiles, are sold in the centre’s own showroom, which is open to the general public.

The project, part of the Together Housing Group, also funds apprenticeships as well as organising work experience and volunteer placements.

Sara Knagg, at ReUse Together, said: “I was delighted to hear we’d been named as recipients of this year’s Kick Out The Can initiative in Blackburn.

“ReUse Together is a community project that gets local people involved in creating low-cost solutions for others in the area. All of the money generated is then put back into running the enterprise and collecting more stock to be sold on. We’ll use the paint for a variety of projects and, because we rely so much on donations, it is very much appreciated.”

Paula Taylor, Crown Decorating Centres marketing manager, said: “The ReUse Together Centre provides a great service to the Blackburn community.

“It gives apprentices and volunteers the chance to learn new skills and, because the items they help to produce are sold at low cost back to the community, it seems that everyone’s a winner.

“By upcycling donated or unwanted furniture and a host of other goods, the centre is also helping to reduce landfill in the area and that fits in with our policy of putting sustainability at the forefront of everything we do.” More than 8,600 containers of unwanted paint were returned to more than 130 Crown Decorating Centres around the UK during the Kick Out The Can campaign, which ran over the Easter break.