Lurgan based global packaging firm Huhtamaki along with two other local businesses are helping provide a lifeline for young people across Northern Ireland in crisis.
Local charity, MACS Supporting Children and Young People (MACS) has received a helping hand towards a new ground-breaking therapeutic home on the outskirts of Belfast thanks to the ‘Recycling Rewards’.
The annual campaign is championed by leading social enterprise Bryson Recycling alongside three partner businesses, Huhtamaki in Lurgan, Cherry Pipes in Dungannon and Encirc in Fermanagh.
It runs across five council areas with more than 170,000 households, who are encouraged to recycle more plastic, glass and paper for a worthwhile cause.
MACS provide a range of specialist services for children and young people between the ages of 11 and 25 who have experienced difficult times in their lives.
The charity campaign is now at the halfway point and funds will support MACS NI’S new ‘My House’, which is helping children with complex needs that cannot be supported by children’s homes or foster care.
Eric Randall, Director at Bryson Recycling comments on the campaign to date: “The Recycling Rewards demonstrates how simple, everyday tasks such as recycling household items can benefit those in need.
“Through this initiative, we aim to raise awareness for the importance of recycling and its positive contribution to the communities we live and work in.
“We have championed a recycling model that results in high quality materials that can be recycled
locally, over 86% of what we collect through our kerbside collection service is recycled here in Northern Ireland which is better for the environment, the economy and creates local jobs.
“At this half way point in the year we are delighted to be able to donate £9500 for ‘My House’ that will
provide a regular home life for children enabling them to live life to its fullest.”
The charity campaign has allowed MACS to invest in a number of areas to enhance their therapeutic home. A unique sensory-based approach is incorporated into daily life routines to improve the capacity of children to regulate their emotions and behaviours, especially when engaged in activities that are normally challenging. Balance balls, crash mats, gym mats and textured balls are being used inside the house whilst the remaining funds have created a bespoke Jungle Gym.
The outdoor play gym meets a broad range of sensory integration needs whilst appearing like any other play frame in a family garden. Children who have experienced neglect, trauma and other adverse events often develop difficulties with sensory processing and relating socially.
Swings have been installed to help children improve their vestibular system, coordination and balance; climbing walls let a child self-sooth agitation and develop their proprioceptive system. Likewise, a bridge/tower is encouraging children to use their visual and motor senses as well as their brain creatively to role play, speak and listen, helping their social skills.
Mary Ryan, MACS’ CEO said: “We can’t thank Bryson Recycling enough for choosing MACS as the beneficiary of their Recycling Rewards scheme. The play equipment is a vital part of our therapeutic resources as well as being a great source of fun for the children who live here, especially coming in to the Summer months.”
Jeff Kearon, Supply Chain Manager at Huhtamaki said: “This is our fourth year as partner for the ‘Recycling Rewards’.
“Each year we are pleasantly surprised by the local community’s dedication to recycle more in aid of such a worthy cause. It’s important to us that not only do we provide a high quality service and excellent quality products but also that we take time to give back to those in need.”
Through Bryson Recycling’s local circular economy approach, they send paper, plastic and glass
collected in kerbside boxes on a weekly basis to the three campaign partners, Cherry Pipes, Encirc and Huhtamaki, who transform them into new products for well-known brands such as McDonalds, Bushmills and Baileys.