IH Belfast’s Eco App team took a short walk to the Lawrence Street, Workshops.
The Lawrence Street, Workshops is home to woodworkers, metalworkers, a cycle repair shop and so much more. Formerly stables that prepared new horses for work in Belfast, the establishment still stands to educate. Martin Carter established the workshop in 1982, since then it has housed artists, taught young people traditional and largely forgotten recycling methods. One standout achievement is that the workshop literally produced a concrete motto for government. IH Belfast visited their neighbour ahead of the Eco app launch to learn more about local sustainability projects. (After reading, watch the short video on Martin’s Build Trust project).
Martin has identified his base as a place of up not recycling for 30 years, and while upcycling has become trendy, he believes it has lost its way. “Upcycling isn’t painting an old stool white, it’s taking that stool apart and creating something new, a new use, a table maybe,” says Martin surrounded by upcycled works. As you move from the woodwork rooms to a rehearsal space, you get a taste of the genuine hard work around you. During the school’s visit, the workshop team were making furniture for nearby Lavery’s bar using salvaged materials. There may be an onsite showroom, but the workshop is not a place for idle hands.
During the visit, IH Belfast students and staff alike were given a guided tour of the premises. Martha Marín, IH Belfast and ESL contest winner, arrived at the workshop as a researcher. She wants to learn more about local sustainability projects before building her ECO App. The App aims to link IH Belfast and the broader Eco-minded community, and at just 5 minutes away, the workshop was a great place to begin. The App’s aim is not only to inform and allow people to share but also to encourage users to do. ECO app users will be able to add environmentally focused meetups to a shared social calendar. The App will encourage students, staff and host families to work together to realise ideas shared on the platform.
Joining in on the work being done at Belfast Bicycle workshop will see IH Belfast students develop language skills and contribute locally. Some students may blend into Martin Carter’s team effortlessly, and others could learn new tricks from an old hand. IH Belfast hopes to integrate the Upcycling hub into the social programme.
Communicate, Create IH Belfast’s mission statement will take centre stage on the App. The App improves communication between all stakeholders at IH Belfast and greater eco-minded community. With regards to Create, the App will encourage users to act on sustainable ideas together. Involvement in projects such as Lawrence Street, Workshop means IH Belfast can produce tangible results. Results which will include, students learning from this grassroots movement and access to greener transport. IH will also support students in producing upcycled goods from recycled materials.
Learn more about ESL and IH Belfast contest winner Martha and her App here.
Thank you to all the staff at the Workshops, Lawrence Street.