L&MFS telephone 0113 2739727
The Moortown Furniture Store was created in 1986 by a group of volunteers from here at Moortown Baptist Church who in the course of their work were coming across people who had little basic furniture. Aware that good second-hand furniture was often going to waste they began to collect and re-distribute those items, first in car boots and then in a horsebox! Today the Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store (in October 1989 the group joined forces with the independently run Leeds Furniture Store) is a registered charity based in a 10,000 sq ft warehouse in Seacroft, has a annual budget in excess of £150,000, runs two vans, employs five staff and provides work experience and training for up to thirteen volunteers and trainees.
Now you could easily be forgiven for thinking that in a city like Leeds… second only to London in terms of finance and banking activity, and home to enough designer shops to satisfy the desires of the most ardent shopaholic, charities such as the Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store ought to be a thing of past. Sadly you would be wrong. That’s because in Leeds, away from the glitz and the glitterati, there run deep seams of poverty and need.
So much so that in the last year alone, and in answer to calls from over a hundred support agencies, L&MFS provided free furniture – anything from a cot to a double bed; a high-chair to a three piece suite – to more than a thousand individuals and families.
The sole reason the Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store was created in the first place is explained in the very first line of its mission statement: “The distribution of donated furniture as a practical demonstration of Christian commitment to socially and economically disadvantaged people” and more than two decades later this remains the case. However, in order to ensure this commitment is met the charity’s managing trustees have always been aware of the need for two things: flexibility and diversification. That’s why in 2000 they set up a trading arm (LMFS Trading Ltd). Supplying new furniture, furnishings and white goods to a whole raft of social housing schemes LMFS Trading Ltd is a social enterprise that covenants every penny of profit back to the charity. More recently the charity has entered into an innovative venture with St George’s Crypt. This involves L&MFS passing on still usable but inappropriate items of donated furniture to the Crypt’s shop on Armley Town Street. Again any profit is used to fund the charity.
Of course another thing that has changed since 1986 is society’s attitude towards the environment. That’s why L&MFS is not only passionate about the amount of furniture it can pass on to people in need, it is equally keen to see tables, chairs, beds etc given a new lease of life rather than simply being disposed of in a land-fill site.
Right now the Leeds and Moortown Furniture Store is running very low on essential stock; as retail giants report “slow trading” it stands to reason that if fewer people are buying new there will be less used furniture coming our way. Ironically, of course, it is the self same economic factors that are forcing more and more people into the hands of the referral agencies that rely on us for help.
So if you are replacing any item of household furniture please give us a call and we will arrange a convenient time to call round and pick it up.
To view or download the latest LMFS Trading Limited catalogue and price list click here or if you would like to support the work of the Store you can do so by visiting it’s Just Giving donations page.