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Allianz Business to Arts Award 2017

Professor Carmel O'Sullivan has been working with ReCreate and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 2 years on the Heads Up study (2016) and more recently, the All Heads Together study (2017-18). At the recent Allianz Business to Arts award, ReCreate and the EPA were nominated in two categories, for the Best Large Sponsorship, and for the Allianz Community Art Award, which it won. Dr Carmel O'Sullivan is the principal investigator on both studies.

Operating out of its 'warehouse of wonders' in Ballymount in west Dublin, social enterprise ReCreate redistributes around 250 tonnes of unused and unwanted materials that would otherwise have gone to landfill each year to be used for arts and crafts projects.

Collected from companies throughout Ireland, the materials - including paper, cardboard, fabric, textiles, boxes, tubing, buttons, bottles and foam - are used by early learning centres, schools, colleges, special needs and community groups and individuals for a nominal annual fee.

"By diverting unwanted and excess items from business, ReCreate's materials have enabled projects to take place that otherwise would not have been possible due to restricted budgets and limited access to such materials," says Kevin McLoughlin, business development manager at ReCreate.

A partnership with and "unwavering support" from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the past three years has helped bring the ReCreate concept to over 200,000 people to date. The two have worked together on three main projects aimed at developing and promoting learning outcomes, particularly among marginalised groups: ReCreate Revolution, Heads Up and most recently All Heads Together. Through the help, support and guidance of the EPA and Dr Carmel O'Sullivan and her team at the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin, ReCreate is able to explore further the creative, inclusive and ecological benefits of reuse.

Keiron Phillips, project manager - green business at the EPA, notes that rather than going to landfill, the unwanted materials get an additional life with social and economic value add. "This concept represents a true sustainable outcome for the National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP)," he says.

Dublin Port Company and the National Concert Hall were also shortlisted in the Best Large Sponsorship category of the Allianz Business to Arts Awards for 'Starboard Home'.