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CEA celebrating two volunteers of the CEA Curtain Bank

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Community Energy Action (CEA) is celebrating this week, as two volunteers of the CEA Curtain Bank commemorate 10 years long service this month. 

Two volunteers have been regularly helping out at CEA’s Curtain Bank for 10 years. One of which, Margaret Cone, appeared on TV One’s Good Sorts Programme in 2016, and has carried out her service as a volunteer for CEA’s Curtain Bank and many other charities. 

CEA’s other long standing volunteer started at the Curtain Bank to give Gayle, the Curtain Bank Manager, some company, "I first started, I think, to mostly give Gayle some company as she was working by herself and there wasn’t much work to be done in the Curtain Bank 10 years ago. When I first started volunteering at the Curtain Bank, there was one blue bin a day to empty and sort…and that was it. Now, there is a constant avalanche of curtains needing to be dealt with, which means a huge pile for us volunteers to sort through! There is always work to be done around here!"

Curtain Bank Manager, Gayle Katene, says "our volunteers make this an incredibly enjoyable place to come every day. Without their help the Curtain Bank would simply not exist."

The CEA Curtain Bank has been operating for over 23 years, providing free, recycled curtains to those in need. All curtains are recycled by the public and some businesses in the curtain industry, all of which would rather see their curtains recycled than end up in landfill. Curtains are donated to CEA’s Curtain Bank collection bins, located all around Christchurch and through to Lincoln, Darfield, and Woodend.

Even with the large amount of curtains donated, the demand and need to supply free curtains is still high. CEA’s CEO Caroline Shone stated "Last year was the Curtain Banks busiest year since opening its doors in 1995. Nearly 900 homes were helped last year alone, compared to only a few in its first year. In 2017, CEA’s Curtain Bank not only provided these homes with free, recycled curtains, but in turn saved over 19,000m² of curtain fabric ending up in landfill". Any leftover pieces of curtain material are used to make energy efficient and draught stopping products such as Eco Bags, door stops, and door sausages. These are sold in their premise on 299 Tuam Street, or online, with any proceeds going straight back into funding the Curtain Bank.

Along with free, recycled curtains, CEA is also an approved Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (ECCA) provider for the Governments Warm Up New Zealand (WUNZ) programme. This means they have subsidies for insulation available, up to 50% off for CSC holders, either homeowners or landlords, with tenants who meet the criteria.

Even if someone needs insulation and they are not a CSC holder, CEA may be able to help through their other charitable funding. Interest free payment options are offered to those who cannot afford the remaining costs. Conditions apply.

CEA will be celebrating all their volunteers’ hard work in June for National Volunteers Week. Organisations, community groups, and individual people are invited to apply for volunteering at the CEA Curtain Bank, as there is always a large pile of curtains to sort and fold right before winter.

Free, recycled curtains are available at CEA’s Curtain Bank on 299 Tuam Street, Christchurch. Call 0800 GET WARM to make an appointment today before the cold winter kicks in.

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