Leeds Wood Recycling is dedicated to creating a positive impact, not just environmentally, but socially too. We work to support people marginalised from society, to create strong support networks. Also helping people who have been long term unemployed get back into employment. We offer onsite volunteer work experience, which includes inhouse training, adapted to empower and upskill people. We value all the volunteers and staff that work alongside us, and do our best to support individuals in and out of the organisation.
I had just dropped out of university. I was in my third year but it all felt a bit pointless. I didn’t feel anything I was doing was benefiting anyone and there was lots going on in my life around that time. I was dealing with a lot of issues, addiction being just one of them.
A girl from my synagogue had been to Leeds Wood Recycling and she told me about them. I took her recommendation and signed up. My dad’s a joiner so I guess I was always around wood and I’ve always been a creative person.
I was happy to be learning again and making things and it was nice to have something to do, take my mind off things and learn. Self-sustainability is a big thing for me, not having to buy everything.
Everyone was great and I made friends. I felt like I’d been thrown into exactly what I needed at the time which was confidence and faith in myself. I hadn’t had that many friends over the past few years and it was just nice to come somewhere and feel supported. I finally felt I was doing something which had some purpose.”
Leeds Wood Recycling are a social enterprise that gives training experience and opportunities to out of work individuals by utilising recycled wood to create various products to sell. With support from Leeds Community Foundation, they were able to tackle social isolation by running an increased number of sessions and courses.
Our Mission & Goals
Improve lives, by empowering, connecting and upskilling people through our passion of saving wood from landfill. Support collective and personal growth within our community!
Invest in people – We put the welfare and wellbeing of people at the heart of everything we do.
Provide a safe, approachable, inclusive and inspiring working environment
Promote a culture of sustainability – Support local businesses by rescuing, reusing and recycling resources through investing in our team and community
Help people grow – Offer training and personal development opportunities for all
Offer a foundation for people to improve their lives – Promoting mutual support
Assist individuals and local businesses to reduce their environmental impact
Offer affordable ethical solutions – Either for waste wood collection, supplying reclaimed wood or for the production of products/ projects.
Reuse – Change lives – Empower – upskill
Here are links to our Impact Reports for the past 4 years.
They demonstrate the growth of Leeds Wood Recycling, documenting the environmental and social impact since we began in 2018.
They also include recycling and reuse statistics alongside testimonials from some of the staff and volunteers we have helped since we began.
“I started volunteering at Leeds Wood Recycling early last year. I was given the opportunity to work three days a week. It’s great to be working again as I had been living on the streets in London for five months. At one point I was close to taking my own life, thinking of throwing myself into the Thames, but later in that same week I went to a homeless meal at a church. I hadn’t been in a church for about 40 years.
During my time in London I used to sell The Big Issue. I saved up all my money so I could afford a place to stay. I put an advert out and got a call from someone in Leeds who was willing to take me in. While here, the job centre was pushing me to get work. I then found Leeds Wood Recycling and my journey started there.
The people here have been a huge lifeline for me and this place is fantastic. People who are stuck in a rut, like I was, it gives them a place to come, to get out of the house. A lot of people these days don’t see anyone from week to months and this place helps, it keeps people going. I’ve gone from sleeping in a shop doorway to living in a house, volunteering, a job and raising money for charity to having a rescue dog. I’m in a good space.”