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Children’s Wood host freecycle swap shop

By on November 14, 2014

The Children’s Wood at North Kelvin Meadow is hosting a Freecycle event at Kelbourne Scout Hall on Sunday (Nov 16) to encourage local people to recycle old items by sharing them with their community.

Organisers say the Freecycle concept is simple … People bring items and take other items away – but no money changes hands. At the event there will also be an opportunity to give items to the Maryhill food bank and make a donation to outdoor learning and play. The aim of the event is to help ease the financial pressures put on families and communities around this time of year, while also creating a platform for the community to share and support each other.

The idea for the event came from Justine Leahy, a Children’s Wood community member. She said:  “Freecycling is inclusive as anyone can come along and swap. Happiness is less stuff and less consumerism. When we actively choose to re-use things that are pre loved we dramatically lower our impact on the environment. And as a community event, freecycling conjurs up a wonderful sense of choice at this festive time of year.”

On the day, Knit Wild will also be recycling items to make crafts with children and adults. Anna Fisk, the local author and craft-inspiration behind the community yarn-bombing project, said: “We will be demonstrating textile crafts with recycled materials, such as weaving with plastic bags and crochet with old t-shirts. There will be activities suitable for children and adults to join in.”

The Freecycle event will also be fundraising for outdoor play sessions, with the Children’s Wood Outdoor Learning Club planning to run a Sunday community cafe with all proceeds going towards training local people in level 2 Forest School training. This will increase the skill-set and confidence of volunteers when they are working with local schools and the community.

Joni MacKay, an Outdoor Learning Club volunteer, said: ‘The Saturday morning Outdoor Learning Club at the Children’s Wood is organised and facilitated by 11 volunteers from the local community. These volunteers share a passion for providing children and families with free opportunities to play and learn outside in a natural and wild environment. Families are spending quality time together in a fun, non-restrictive space that inspires exploration, imagination and communication as well as many other fundamental skills.”

The organisers are keen to get across the message that this Christmas, many people across Scotland will be struggling just to feed and clothe themselves – never mind buy presents for loved ones. We may live in one of the most developed and advanced nations in the world, yet 33 per cent of all children in this city (more than 36,000) are estimated to be living in poverty.

Parents feel pressure to buy expensive items such as gadgets, toys or designer clothing and that can get people into debt. Justine believes the Freecycle idea will not only encourage a collaborative exchange of items, to help counteract the pressure to buy – but will also bring people together to have lots of fun and help their community.

Local Green councillor Kieran Wild welcomed the idea and said: “It’s great people are looking to share toys and resources and also support Maryhill food bank, which is a brilliant cause.”

*Freecycle Event on Sunday November 16, at Kelbourne Street scout hall from 10am-4pm. Drop off items on Saturday 8-9pm or Sunday 9-10am at Kelbourne Street Scout hall. If you can’t make these dates, see www.facebook.com/TheChildrensWood / @childrens_wood / childrenswood@hotmail.com

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