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Recycling rockets at our OWL project


Recycling has rocketed since the launch of a new campaign by service user Craig Dobbins for the Outcomes With Learning (OWL) Project he attends in Dolgellau, Gwynedd. The centre, which is the first of its kind in Wales, was opened by care provider Regard in April 2013 to enable individuals with learning disabilities, mental health diagnosis and acquired brain injuries take charge of their lives.

Craig, who has been raising money through recycling for various good causes for over 10 years, was inspired to set new goals for the OWL Project’s own recycling after listening to a presentation by Dylan Rees Davies, Waste and Recycling Officer for Gwynedd Council. He visited the centre in June, to talk to Service Users about recycling as part of the OWL Project’s ongoing programme of activities

Activities Co-ordinator, Geraint Jones, said: “Craig has a real passion for recycling and we are proud to support his environmental initiative; which Craig is proving only too keen to take responsibility and ownership of. What is so great about this is that Craig is developing his social skills and confidence, and at the same time both helping the local environment and developing his knowledge of environmental matters through engagement and on-going involvement.”

Craig said: “I enjoy raising money for charities; I recently had a cheque for £25 for the Elim Church in Barmouth. I like to raise money as it goes towards good causes and people benefit from my hard work”

His new recycling drive is in addition to fundraising work he has already been doing since 2001, which has raised hundreds of pounds in aid of a variety of local, national and international charities.

His charity work has involved making and distributing posters to local businesses asking them to collect everything from plastic milk bottle tops to used stamps, pens and toner cartridges, as well as old specs, mobiles and jewellery. Along with a support worker, Craig makes weekly collections from Dolgellau businesses and forwards the items to the appropriate recycler in return for charity donations.

Evette Townley-Keogh, North Wales locality manager for Regard, said: “Craig was really inspired by Dylan’s talk about recycling, and is now working in partnership with Gwynedd Council to great effect. The talk was part of the activities programme we devise which aims to enable and encourage our service users to achieve increased independence, self-worth and belonging.”

“Our mission is to make a real and positive difference to the lives of the adults we support, providing individualised day services that offer outcomes with learning benefits.”

Regard is an independent provider of care, monitored by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales. Staff have a wealth of knowledge and experience of working with adults across the whole spectrum of learning disabilities, including mental health diagnosis, acquired brain injury, complex and challenging behaviours.

Families and external professionals can learn more by calling the referrals hotline on 0800 840 0313