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The Stoke 2000

2115. Chris Parr

Chris Parr, from Stoke-on-Trent, set up his ‘Stoke2000’ initiative to celebrate the city’s rich pottery heritage while encouraging more people in Stoke to recycle waste.

Inspired to start the project following Stoke’s City of Culture 2021 bid, Chris wanted to continue the collaboration of creatives and entrepreneurs to find new ways of celebrating the city’s identity, which has also helped reduce C02 emissions across the city through recycling. 

Chris collects unwanted wooden pallets and repurposes these into wall planters and new garden products which are styled to resemble the 2000 bottle-oven pottery kilns found across Stoke. The initiative involves youth organisations, community groups and charities, holding creative workshops where young people help recycle and design new wooden planters, while also tackling loneliness and social isolation by providing an opportunity to socialise, share stories and increase people’s general health and wellbeing.

In a personal letter to Chris, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

” I was inspired to learn how you have turned your passion for creative arts into a celebration of Stoke’s rich pottery heritage, while also encouraging more people to recycle waste and reduce their carbon emissions. 

“Through this initiative and the educational workshops you offer, you are making a real difference – helping people to try new skills while also tackling social isolation and loneliness. And with your wooden planters designed in the shape of Stoke’s distinctive bottle-oven pottery kilns, you have found an ingenious way of bringing the historic symbols of your city into people’s gardens.”

Congratulating Chris on his award, Jonathan Gullis, Chris’s local MP for Stoke-on-Trent North said: 

“Congratulations to Chris for his outstanding contribution to not only making Stoke-on-Trent cleaner, but also for his creativity and by turning this rubbish into something that celebrates our history and heritage. Now working to share his work and skills with different groups, particularly young people, is so positive and will leave a lifelong impression on what more we can do to upcycle. Thank you Chris for making Stoke-on-Trent proud.”

Chris said:

“It’s a huge honour to receive the Points of Light Award and I’m so happy to be recognised by the Prime Minister for my work throughout the 6 Towns of Stoke-on-Trent and their local communities. I’m very proud of my City’s industrial heritage and to promote and celebrate this through my art, culture, education and recycling project has now become an important topic for local people. Not just here in The Potteries in North Staffordshire but all heritage based across Great Britain too. 

“It is also important that we all begin to think about creating a circular economy and reducing the amount of waste we produce, throw away and disregard, both as organisations and individuals. To be personally thanked by the Prime Minister will help me to inspire others and make a difference to those taking part in ‘The Stoke 2000’ project and new initiatives I have planned in the near future.”

See more about ‘The Stoke 2000

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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