A Flintshire upcycling project that supports adults with learning difficulties has landed success in the local community.

The ‘Second Chance’ initiative is based at Abbey Upcycling in Flint and is ran by the learning disability charity Hft alongside Flintshire County Council.

Up to 75 adults with learning disabilities and autism are guided by local volunteers on how to upcycle household objects.

The Leader: Flint Second Change ProjectFlint Second Change Project

Kate Higginson, Hft Flintshire’s Team Coordinator, said: “I am especially proud that the people with learning disabilities we support feel empowered to take the lead, speak up and explain to visitors and customers what Second Chance is all about and what it means to them.”

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The scheme is funded by a Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme via the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

The project focuses on providing practical employability skills as figures show that the amount of UK adults with learning disabilities in paid employment currently stands at only 5.1%.

According to research from Hft throughout the 2021 ‘Lockdown on Loneliness’ campaign a major barrier to friendship connections among adults with learning disabilities was lack of access to paid employment.

The upcycled items including household objects, electronics and furniture are sold at two Flintshire based shops which are run in conjunction with the project and North East Wales Carers Information Service and on Hft Flintshire’s Facebook page.

The Leader:

Profits are then poured directly back into the project to ensure long lasting sustainability of the project.

The scheme is set to launch an Etsy and Ebay shop soon.

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Neil Ayling, Flintshire’s Chief Officer for Social Services, said: “It is obvious those attending Abbey Upcycling really enjoy it and get a lot from their time there.”

The project has been met with positive feedback by those working on the project;

“I am happy making the orders for customers and it would be great if the public would donate things that they don’t want anymore.” – Carl.

“I enjoy working with timber and de-nailing.” – Melvin.

"It’s great to be making useful things out of pallets like benches, bird houses and bin tidies. This would be rotting in the rubbish tip otherwise.” Ben and Daniel.

To buy items from the Second Chance project, visit their shops at Abbey Upcycling, 1 Heinzel Court, Aber Road, or at 53 Church Street, Flint.

To donate items, please visit any of the Second Chance sites in Bretton, Queensferry, Shotton, Flint or Greenfield. Collection can be arranged for bulk items. Call 01352 761 653 for details.