Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley was in Leeds today (Friday 26 January 2018), where he visited South Leeds charity SLATE (South Leeds Alternative Trading Enterprise), and heaped praise upon this pioneering local organisation.
SLATE work with a wide range of people, particularly those with learning disabilities, to refurbish and resell furniture and other household goods – and therefore rescue them from landfill. Originally set up in 2004, the charity has ‘saved’ and restored over 750 tonnes of furniture since 2010 – the equivalent of 100 double decker buses! They currently have nearly 50 volunteers onboard, the majority of whom have learning, mental health or physical disabilities, together fulfilling nearly 500 hours per week.
Jonathan Bartley commented:
“It’s been an inspiration visiting SLATE today. Their work is a brilliant example of how we can make sure people with disabilities have real opportunities, and don’t become marginalised and isolated. This is everything the Green Party is about: different people working together to create healthier, happier communities.”
Ed Carlisle, one of the SLATE trustees and also local Green Party candidate, added:
“SLATE is a fantastic local story of social action, enterprise, and partnerships. More and more of us are looking to reduce our impact on the planet, and trying to live sustainably – and SLATE are creating simple and effective ways for people to do so, whilst making Leeds a bit fairer and more inclusive at the same time.”
Louise Megson, the Operations Director at SLATE, said:
“The SLATE team are proud of our long history of supporting the local community through the provision of quality reused goods at reasonable prices. However, our core business is our volunteers – who thrive in a safe nurturing environment, becoming confident proud members of the SLATE family. Some volunteers move onto paid work with us, and others remain as happy volunteers – many have been with us over 10 years.”
SLATE have stores in Hunslet and Armley, stocking donated furniture, white and electrical goods, clothes, homeware, and more. They also run the Feel Good Cafes in the Hillside Centre in Beeston and the Old Fire Station in Gipton; they are one of the core partners of the Revive stores at Seacroft and Kirkstall recycling sites; and, to name a couple, also work closely with John Lewis on their take-back scheme and Duhelm who provide quality seconds for the shops.
For full info on SLATE, including their free furniture collection service, visit their website or call (0113) 270 4005.