AN AWARD-WINNING Pembrokeshire organisation has closed the doors of its recycling scheme after raising more than £8,000 for local charities from unused packaging and rubbish.

Over 12 years Pembrokeshire Care Share and Give has raised £8290 through Terracycling more than 13 tonnes of rubbish over the years. This involves recycling clean packaging such as biscuit wrappers and crisp packets.

Local charities supported have included the Paul Sartori Foundation, Greenacres Animal Rescue, Patch Charity, SCBU & children's Wards in all areas of Wales, The Blood Bikes, the British Heart Foundation, Ty Hafan and Wales Air Ambulance.

Amanda Absalom-Lowe and Mark Lowe set up Pembrokeshire Care Share and Give after their daughter Megan was born six weeks premature and underwent open heart surgery at the age of eight months old in 2011.

They wanted to say thank you to the baby care unit staff and hospitals that had cared for Megan and decided to join a recycling scheme after seeing another parent was raising money by recycling biscuit wrappers.

Since then the group has attained charitable status and won several awards for its work, not only in preventing rubbish going to landfill but donating funds raised back to local community groups and charities.

This year Amanda was presented with an Award of Merit from Haverfordwest Town council with county councillor Tim Evans saying:

"If this charity did not exist in Haverfordwest many tons of plastic rubbish would end up in landfill in Pembrokeshire."

Last year Amanda was also named by BBC Radio 4 as one of 30 inspiring women whose work is making a positive difference to the environment.

She was named in the top 20 of the Woman's Hour Power List 2020: Our Planet alongside names such as MP Caroline Lucas and Kate Humble.

The group has also won a national award at the Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales awards.

The charity has had to wind up after the premises which it had been able to use for free was no longer available.

However it is continuing its work on food waste, saving several tonnes of food being thrown away weekly and helping an average  of 200 people a week, as well as hospital donations and donations to Patch charity.

It is still aiming to open a community shop  once a place has been sourced and has other plans in place. 

It is hoped Pembrokeshire residents will still be able to recycle packaging that can't go into the council collections, as it is anticipated that Norman Industries, in association with Pembrokeshire Circle, will take over the collection and sorting of the recycling for a trial period of three months.

For more information see Norman Industries Facebook page.

"We would like personally to thank you the public and collectors, our volunteers, businesses , schools and everyone who was involved for all the hard work, collecting sorting, packing weighing and all the personal volunteering time everyone put in," said Amanda.

"We would like to thank and wish Norman Industries all the best in their new adventure."