Highland Community Waste Partnership

> Background to the project
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October 2023

HC Waste Partnership report for TBI AGM

Laura Donnelly, one of TBI's Project Officers for the Highland Community Waste Partnership, has prepared an annual report of HCWP's activities, as a Powerpoint presentation to coincide with TBI's AGM which took place last weekend.  For practical reasons the presentation was not shown at the AGM, but is available to view here .

Thanks are due to Laura for preparing an excellent prresentation, and to Laura and Lyn for their work for the waste project during the year.


March 2023

Make Do and Mend

by Janet Ullman, Highland Community Waste Partnership
Today I’d like to tell you about my favourite pair of jeans. They are now 26 years old and I got them shortly after my daughter was born. They are my go-to for a relaxed day at home, pottering around the garden or replacing roofing felt. They were good quality when I got them with all expectations for them to last, which they have. But over the years my beloved jeans have suffered wear, tear and paint spills, and are now fashionably ripped at the knees.

I’d like to bring to mind an old phrase ‘Make do and mend’. It used to be common that we all had a few good clothes, clothes for working in and clothes for hard labour around the home. You never threw anything away, your sewing kit was your friend. I remember my mother in front of the TV darning my brother’s socks, sewing up tears in school uniforms and patching my dad’s overalls. She taught me how to sew, embroider and knit, and various tricks for hemming up, altering or restyling clothes.

With my children (sons and daughter, equal opportunities for all) I taught them how to patch, sew and darn just as she had taught me, so they could keep their clothes neat and longer lasting. It just seemed natural to pass these skills on. However modern living has meant a lot of folks don't have the time and, let’s face it, cheap clothing companies have pedalled the idea of throw away and not repair. 

Are we saving any money by constantly buying new and cheap, rather than shopping less and buying well made? A lot of these cheap throwaways are piling up in landfills and form plastic-based clothing floating islands off the coast of Africa. I started to think about how we can stop being fashion victims but become fashion designers, loving our old clothes and remaking them. Many top-notch designers are doing the same.

To help tackle these lost skills to repair clothes, Highland Community Waste Partnership is sponsoring a series of ‘Make Do and Mend’ workshops at Ragtag in Broadford every fourth Monday in the month. Tutors will be available to guide people through various arts of repairing or upcycling clothes. 

The first workshop on 27th February was all about slow sewing, using embroidery or decorative stitching to cover small tears, stains or rips. It makes for a beautiful feature and hides the repair. It can give a whole new look and all it costs you is a bit of time and some coloured thread.

The next Make Do and Mend workshop is on Monday 27th March, 11 am - 2 pm. The workshops are free but you do need to book at hello@ragtagskye.org or call on  01471 822043.

With a few new skills we could all have new wardrobes without spending a penny. And for the menfolk reading this, I’d like to say tailoring is for us all. My Dad had mastery of the sewing machine in our family; a mechanic by day, a wizard with seams in the evening.
I am really excited to find out more and replace my very functional sewing for something a bit more chic, especially for my favourite pair of jeans. 

Some of the beautiful patches made at RagTag's Make Do and Mend workshop.

[This article appeared in the Skye Climate Action March 2023 newsletter].


February 2023

HGFP appoints temporary Project Officer

Owing to Lyn's continuing illness TBI has recruited a temporary Project Officer to take forward our participation in the Highland Community Waste project.  Laura Donnelly started work at the beginning of the month and introduced herself in the February newsletter

Hi, I’m Laura, the temporary HCWP project officer for Transition Black Isle. My focus is to engage with Black Isle residents, community groups and businesses to provide information, practical waste reduction methods and activities which are relevant, engaging, and fun!

Working together with the Highland Community Waste Partnership, and partners such as Keep Scotland Beautiful and Zero Waste Scotland, we aim to reduce waste across the Black Isle and have a wider long-lasting positive impact on our behaviors and environment.  We will help residents and businesses try out new practices and support them to adopt these practices into everyday life.  Through sharing information and learning together as a community, we aim to help change engrained behaviors and show that there are sustainable, practical methods available to tackle waste and climate change.  My aim is to encourage residents and businesses across the Black Isle to be more mindful of waste, through learning and adopting new practical practices which will reduce unnecessary waste and save households and businesses money.

Before moving to the Highlands in winter 2021, I worked predominantly in the community development sector, working with disadvantaged communities in Edinburgh to make a community led plan to improve residents’ lives.  My roles within the third sector involved engaging hard to reach audiences to encourage and support residents who rarely had their voice heard to get involved in decision making around improvements to their lives and local community.  Working with tools such as NHS Place Standard and conducting Listening Surveys using a whole community approach, together we created a resident led community forum and identified local priorities and practical activity-based solutions the community could work towards.

My passion lies in supporting the formation of local community planning and action groups to emerge and thrive; for example supporting the formation of the Local Conversations Community Forum; supporting residents to form thematic activity-based groups such as sewing cafés, gardening and growing groups, youth groups, gala/events committee’s and supporting the development of Community Cafés and safe social spaces.  The work carried out by the Local Conversation Community Forum also contributed to shaping City of Edinburgh Council’s community place-based planning framework and brought together other community groups and third sector organisations operating in the community, forging better and more trusted relationships between residents, statutory services and third sector groups.

April 2022

Waste Partnership Project Officers introduced

April newsletters from TBI and Highland Community Waste Partnership introduced Lyn McLardy for TBI . . .

Hi, I'm Lyn and I'm the new project officer for TBI as part of the Highland Community Waste Partnership, a new lottery funded initiative looking at the impacts of waste and consumption on the climate.  I'm from Muir of Ord and most of my spare time at the moment is spent trying to get a straw bale house built (with lots of help!).  My previous work involved being part of the MOO Food team as a project officer where I worked on waste reduction, cooking and growing projects that also focused on building community and resilience.  I set up Let's Go Lentil which was a package free wholefoods business and although sadly the business had to stop due to covid, this new project will hopefully mean that we can work together to set up new and build on existing nitiatives for reducing food and single use waste across the Highlands.

I'm a firm believer in the power of community and supporting each other and would love to hear from you if you've got ideas or want to get involved in any way.  Just get in touch at  lyn@transitionblackisle.org .

. . . and Reina Edmiston for HGFP

Reina: Whilst working within Education, I set about starting a community growing project which will form part of a sustainability hub. Out with this I work on securing funding for community driven initiatives.  I previously worked in the tourism industry in the Far East and want to create a sustainable tourism environment that is built upon a sustainable food system.


Visit the HCWP website



January 2022

Funding announcement and staff recruitment

TBI is one of eight community groups coming together across the Highlands as part of a new climate movement to help reduce consumption and waste and tackle our throwaway culture.  Coordinated by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, with funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, The Highland Community Waste Partnership will raise awareness of how the way that we consume contributes to climate change, working over three years to create solutions for addressing this.  It will do this through a programme of collaborative grassroots activity, working on key issues identified by partners, including reducing food waste; tackling single use items; and increasing the use of pre-loved, repaired and shared goods, instead of new purchases.  In addition to TBI, the Partnership comprises the following groups:

  • The Lochaber Environment Group (Fort William)
  • Broadford and Strath Community Company (Isle of Skye)
  • Ullapool Community Trust
  • Thurso Community Development Trust
  • Lairg & District Learning Centre
  • The Highland Good Food Partnership (Highland-wide)
  • Velocity Café and Bicycle Workshop (Inverness)

By working together and sharing resources and learning, the Partnership will build a movement for more sustainable consumption, supporting communities to reduce their carbon footprints and contributing towards Scotland’s ambitions to create a more circular economy and become a Net Zero nation by 2045.

TBI is currently recruiting a project officer to start work in April, leading on food waste (building on work done by MOO Food in recent years and extending that throughout the Black Isle) and also to implement project streams being developed by other groups.

The project has been made possible by a £1,498,568 award, announced by The National Lottery Community Fund. It is one of 21 community-led waste and consumption focused projects across the UK to have received funding from the Climate Action Fund.

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