New charity shop giving new lease of life to disadvantaged people as well as household goods

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By Anna Riley

DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE in Leeds will benefit from the opening of a new recycled waste charity shop in Kirkstall which aims to combat today’s “throw-away society”.

Revive, a shop that recycles good quality household items, opens in the New Year after winning a bid to run a store at the Kirkstall recycling site, near Cardigan Fields.

The shop has an existing branch in Seacroft and employs over 40 volunteers and nine staff.

Andrew Zbos, business manager and director at Revive said: “Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and we give work experience to those who wouldn’t normally receive it, such as the long term unemployed, payback offenders on community service and people with learning disabilities.

“Working at Revive gives our volunteers pride, self-confidence and a place to interact.

“It is like a social hub and some people even work seven days a week as they enjoy it so much.”

Janice Frost, a waste policy officer at Leeds City Council said: “Revive currently diverts around 5,000 tonnes of waste from landfill through donations and gets lots of custom.

“We expect the Kirkstall store to be even more successful given its location.

“When people visit the shop, it encourages them to change their behaviour and start donating goods rather than being part of our current throw-away society.

“At the end of the day, if something can be reused, that is much better for the environment.”

SLATE, a Leeds-based charity supporting people with learning disabilities, and St Vincent De Paul, which helps alleviate poverty, will benefit from the profits generated at Revive.

Alison Ward, strategic operations manager at SLATE, said: “The scheme is an amazing thing. If you think of all the things that can be saved from tips and sold on to assist those in need, then not only are people helped, but also the environment.”

Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group estimates that 1.5 million people in the UK have learning disabilities with 350,000 people suffering from severe learning disabilities.

Tom Wilkinson, depot manager at St Vincent de Paul, said: “We help anyone in Leeds suffering from poverty and we have worked in the city for over 20 years.

“The Revive opening will really support us in achieving our goals.”

According to the council’s Poverty Fact Book, 20 per cent of the Leeds population was living in absolute poverty in in 2015, which equates to 155,000 citizens.

The lease for the new Revive store is worth at least £25,000 a year and will run for five years.

Revive are asking the public to donate unwanted but reusable donations for them to sell on and will also be recruiting volunteers in the coming months for the new shop.

More information on the store and how to donate and volunteer can be found at http://www.reviveleeds.co.uk/

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