Lt Governor Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton opened Acorn’s new Reuse Centre in Trinity this afternoon and echoed States of Jersey CEO Charlie Parker and Chairman of the Jersey Employment Trust Geoff Cook in praising the work of the social enterprise, its staff and supporters who helped to make this 1,700sq ft recycling facility a reality.
It is less than a year since Jersey Electricity Building Services (JEBS) Contracts and Operations Manager Ian Whyte surveyed the former nursery site with Acorn Manager Steve Pearce to assess the electrical works necessary to turn the site from greenhouse to today’s vast storage, workshop and retail marketplace for unwanted items upcycled from the La Collette Reuse Centre. Those works, which eventually included 120 lights, power points, air conditioning, fire alarms, electronic doors and surveillance cameras, were donated by Jersey Electricity and carried out by JEBS.
Ian Whyte said: ‘We are delighted to have been able to support such a marvellous enterprise. The centre creates win wins all round. It reduces waste, it provides training opportunities and paid work for those who might otherwise find it difficult to obtain employment and it has a beneficial social impact by providing low cost or free goods to people in most need.’
The charity has been supporting Islanders with disabilities since 1991. Social enterprises Acorn Woodshack and Acorn Nursery were well established at the site. The new Reuse Centre follows the success of Acorn’s Reuse Centre at La Collette which launched in January 2017. The centre has already saved thousands of unwanted items from going into the waste stream while helping many Islanders with disabilities or long-term health problems train for re-employment. The new Trinity Reuse Centre is expected to save 1,500 tonnes of waste in the next five years while giving training and employment opportunities to a further 80 clients.
General Manager Steve Pearce said: ‘Acorn Reuse Centre is the most ambitious social enterprise project ever undertaken in Jersey. All the money our various enterprises raise is reinvested with the aim of supporting more people with disabilities or long-term health conditions back into employment. We are grateful for the support of Jersey Electricity and JEBS in saving us significant cost of the electrical installation.’