How a Warton woman has helped members at the Salvation Army's Bridge Project in Blackpool upcycle their lives

Alison Child (centre) with the service users at The Salvation Army's The Bridge Project, who upcycled furniture
Alison Child (centre) with the service users at The Salvation Army's The Bridge Project, who upcycled furniture
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A Fylde woman has led the way in sprucing up some old, tired furniture - and says it can help boost wellbeing.

Alison Child, who works within adult, community and family learning at Blackpool Council, has been working with the Salvation Army’s Bridge Project to upcycle furniture.

Some of the tables created by volunteers at the Bridge Project

Some of the tables created by volunteers at the Bridge Project

Six service users volunteered to take part, and the end results were works of art, including a specially designed chess table and a table dedicated to Liverpool FC taking centre stage.

Alison, of Warton, said: “The Bridge Project provides access to a wide range of services, from basic needs such as hot meals, washing and toilet facilities, to assistance with matters such as health, housing, employability and substance misuse problems.

“My usual role involves helping clients improve their IT skills, but it was time for something a little different, a bit of fun and creativity. My budget was £7 per learner, to provide paint, brushes, sandpaper and all other materials we might need.

“I am no stranger to charity shop browsing and I found some tables and a couple of chairs.

The furniture before it was upcycled

The furniture before it was upcycled

“Most participants had ongoing physical and mental health problems and had been homeless at one time.

“Over the next four weeks of the course, the participants continued to grow in confidence and amazed me with their commitment and enthusiasm. Each learner now had a clear vision of how their table or chair would be decorated, and several had purchased additional paints and embellishments to share with the group. They took time to make their furniture perfect and all were admiring each other’s efforts. I was proud of them all. Their feedback was so positive, with many referring to their increased sense of achievement, renewed self-esteem and enjoyment of the company of others. One even told me: ‘I no longer feel useless and worthless, just like my table.’ That was my most humbling moment - recycled furniture, upcycled lives.”

Some of the furniture created by volunteers at the Bridge Project

Some of the furniture created by volunteers at the Bridge Project

Some of the tables created by volunteers at the Bridge Project

Some of the tables created by volunteers at the Bridge Project