I started working at SLATE at the end of November and I’ve been very impressed by what this small social enterprise achieves.
SLATE has three goals:
– to provide employment and volunteering opportunities to people with learning difficulties
– to provide a source of reasonably priced, second hand furniture to people on tight budgets
– to stop furniture being dumped or going to landfill
SLATE is run as a business, but all the profits are re-invested to make sure we can continue to support people with learning difficulties – who are at the heart of the operation.
SLATE has a shop on Low Road in Hunslet (near McDonalds) which is its base. I’ve mostly been working on the van which goes out every day for collections and deliveries – you may have seen it driving around South Leeds and beyond. As well as being driver and removal man, I’m supporting two guys with learning difficulties. And they’re supporting me, both with the removal work and by keeping me calm. It’s hard to explain, but there’s no room for getting stressed or losing your temper – so you don’t!
Last week’s delivery schedule included an unusual customer – Leeds City Museum!
Staff at the Museum are preparing for the opening of their Silver 70’s exhibition on 27th January and they needed to find period furniture. They hunted round the furniture stores in the city and found many of the things on their list at The Feel Good Furniture Shop.
Helen Langwick, Curator of Exhibitions at the Museum said “It was great fun looking round: there was everything from basic modern furniture, reproduction pieces and some very interesting period pieces. We are delighted to get what we want and to support a social enterprise at the same time.”
Kevin Lavin, driver’s mate, who lives in Morley, said “We’ve never delivered to the Museum before. I think we should all go and see the exhibition when it opens!”
There is another team of people in the shop working on displays, sales, cleaning and repairs. In the shop you’ll find sofas and suites, beds (new and second hand), dining tables and chairs, cupboards, wall units, wardrobes and bric-a-brac. We also sell electrical items such as fridges and washing machines. All the pre-loved furniture sold at The Feel Good Furniture Shop has been donated by local residents. The shop is open to the public 6 days a week, closing at lunch-time on Saturdays. So do come down and have a browse.
We are always on the look out for donations of goods you no longer need or have room for and for volunteers to work in the shop or on the van.