The Building Futures (Falkirk) group

Building Sustainable Futures

Dilanee Bunter :: Saturday 19th September 2009 :: This Story

Building Futures Falkirk and Ocean Stars
Learners with a consignment of textiles to be recycled through ACE Limited

The Building Futures (Falkirk) group in the Department of Access and Progression have learnt about sustainable practice while undertaking their Citizenship Project. After looking at local and community issues as part of this project, their efforts took a global turn when lecturer Maggi Baird told them about the Ocean Stars Trust, which was set up in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2005.

This trust is currently focusing on some 50 projects aimed at supporting children in Sri Lanka who where orphaned as a result of the tsunami. It is now working on setting up FE opportunities for boys (who were otherwise often recruited into the Tami Tigers) and there is an ongoing need for sponsorship. The Building Futures learners felt inspired to support the Ocean Stars Trust so they made a visit to Alloa-based recycling charity ACE (Alloa Community Enterprises) Limited to find out about fundraising opportunities.

The charity ACE operated profitable waste management businesses that provide employment, improve employability, increase environmental awareness and return profits to support the social needs of communities in which the operate.

The Scottish Government is committed to sustainable development the goal of which it defines as to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations.

The citizenship project is an excellent example of how sustainable development can be wholly integrated into a learning programme and how a citizenship project can incorporate the three key strands of sustainable development social, economic and ecological on local and global levels.


The learners really enjoyed their visit to the recycling plant and took delight in seeing what happens to their milk bottles and old newspapers. More importantly, they learned that by collecting textiles for recycling, the can earn 20p per kilo.

They have also been given an invaluable insight into how recycling does more than just protect the environment. In this case the reusable textiles are packaged up and sent off to areas of need in African countries and the money raised can be used as sponsorship of the Sri Lankan charity Ocean Stars Trust.

Article from Going Forth magazine from Forth Valley College.