Recycling Lives hosts MP visit(October 28, 2016)
Mark has visited the Recycling Lives facility on Essex Street on Friday 28th October 2016.
Mark was invited to meet with the charity’s directors and residents and tour the facilities including the living accommodation on offer. The Recycling Lives charity and business was set up eight years ago and provides accommodation, training and employment for vulnerable people looking to find their way back to independent living. Ex-offenders and people facing homelessness are supported back to independent living through a six stage programme of accredited education and training, paid work whilst living in the purpose built accommodation.
From left: Mark Hendrick MP, Ian Green, Resident, Keith Meadows, Resident, Alisdair Jackson, Operations Director, Neil Flanagan, Charity Director, Alex Mercer, and Steve Jackson, CEO.
Mark met with Alex Mercer, Bids and Tenders Manager, Alasdair Jackson, Operations Director and Charity Director, Neil Flanagan. The tour included a viewing of residents’ communal areas and private accommodation. Mark was also shown ‘#Release Potential Short Film’ which documents residents’ journeys through Recycling Lives onto successful independent living.
Mark said: “It’s fantastic to see that a commercial business can successfully provide not only a service to industry but have at its heart, a social welfare enterprise that gives vulnerable individuals a chance to rebuild their lives. Some of the solutions I have seen are truly innovative, such as the social enterprise café and business incubator hubs. The clear ‘Pathways to Independence’ are clearly working as the outcomes for residents and former residents are very positive. Residents have gained long-term employment, transferred to secure independent living whilst forming meaningful relationships and in some cases returning to the charity to provide assistance to others who are in need of help.”
Operations Director, Alasdair Jackson said: “We are extremely grateful for Mark Hendrick MP taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Recycling Lives. It was our pleasure to show him around our facilities and share with him the work we do with ex-offenders and people facing homelessness.
“The social issues we tackle are vital to the improvement and development of Preston and to society as whole. We welcome the support of Mark Hendrick MP as we plan the expansion of the Recycling Lives HMP Academy programme, and increase our social impact.”
Mark also had an opportunity to discuss the experiences of current residents Ian Green and Keith Meadows who live and work at the Preston site. Current resident Ian Green said: “I am enjoying the work and my residency here. ‘I’m also excited about my future and my ambition is to go on and become a crane operator”.
Fellow resident Keith Meadows said: ‘I am looking forward to the future and hoping to get my licence for a driving job here with Recycling Lives. I want to settle in Preston and I don’t want to go back to my old ways.’