‘Westfest’ unveil sale of restored furniture at food and craft fair

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The recently established community up-cycling initiative ‘Back2New’ will unveil its products at the upcoming ‘Westfest’ Food and Craft Fair Saturday 14 and Sunday 15.

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Started in April, the Newcastle West based project was set-up to develop the skills and future employability of participants on the TÚS Community Work Placement Scheme.

TÚS is a national initiative for people on the Live Register designed to provide short term working opportunities for unemployed people.

The work supports community development and the services of benefit to the community. It will be managed at a local level by West Limerick Resources who have over one hundred placements in the West Limerick Area.

The pilot social enterprise initiative is based in a dedicated enterprise unit in Newcastle West and currently has twelve participants who have been busy revamping and up-cycling disused furniture and waste material over recent months.

“Back2New evolved as a collaboration between West Limerick Resources TÚS programme, its local and Community Development Programme and the Waste Management Section of Limerick County Council who have been providing raw materials such as old furniture and paint,” says Irene O’Callaghan of West Limerick Resources.

“The twelve participants, who come from a range of backgrounds, have been developing their practical and creative skills over the last few months and are now ready to progress towards the sales and marketing side of the initiative” says Ms O’Callaghan.

A wide range of furniture, which was up-cycled using a variety of appropriate techniques, will be on sale at the Food and Craft Fair which takes place on Saturday and Sunday September 14 and 15 at the Newcastle West Community Centre.

People will also be able to meet and talk to those who created the pieces and will be encouraged to support the project through the purchase of some of the unique items on show.  Money generated from sales will be reinvested into the future development and expansion of the initiative.

“In addition to providing employment and training opportunities to participants the project is also promoting waste minimisation as it diverts waste from landfill and encourages reuse and recycling in the local area,” Ms O’Callaghan says.

“To date we have received a number of generous donations of unwanted furniture from local households and I think that the former owners will be surprised to see how they have been transformed through a bit of imagination and a lot of hard work on the part of the participants”, she says.

Due to the large volume of stock which has now built up as a result of the project, a follow-up sale is planned to be held at the Up-cycling Centre in Unit 2, Newcastle West Enterprise Centre, on Friday September 27th with dates of future sales to be announced over the coming months.

‘Westfest’ is a family-fun festival running for five days in September from the 11th to 15th in Newcastle West. There will be live music and entertainment set against the backdrop of Desmond Castle.