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Volunteers making a difference with Armley renovation

Words: Andy Dalton

Hard-working volunteers are taking a well-earned rest over the Christmas holiday period.

Over the past six months a band of volunteers have supported tradesmen and have been working hard to renovate the old ‘Mission Room’ in Mistress Lane, Armley.

The redundant premises have been acquired by Leeds City Mission – one of the city’s oldest charities (founded 1837).  The ‘Mission Room’ was badly in need of a complete make-over. 

Leeds City Mission has organised a campaign over the last 18 months to raise funds and recruit volunteers to help transform the building into a modern, contemporary facility.  

When completed it will host an office, clothing store, kitchen, meeting space, foodbank, interview room, shower and storage facilities.  

The City Mission has a long tradition of working with people at the margins – families suffering disruption and poverty, unemployment, homeless and ex-offenders – people struggling with life.

Development Worker Andy Dalton said that in recent months they had been working flat out to move the project forward.  Floors had been ripped out, walls demolished, rubble removed, partition walls created, roof repairs, kitchen units and toilets installed.  

So far a total of 20 volunteers have freely given 1,150 hours of their time.  A total of 280 sacks of firewood and 365 sacks of waste plus three trailers of rubble have been removed and recycled from the site.  

Social distancing procedures have been observed by the volunteers throughout the work schedules.

Mr Dalton said that it was hoped that work would quickly resume in the new year and that the project will be completed by Easter.  It will then be used for a range of social projects during the week in addition to Christian worship services at the weekends.

Mr Dalton added that the Mission expected a fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. He said:

“Unemployment, poverty, social and spiritual needs are going to rocket in 2021 and through this new Centre the City Mission will be well placed to address some of the pressing issues in West Leeds”

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