Manchester facilities manager, Neil Leisham, has found a way to repay the kindness showed to him by The Salvation Army after the charity helped him as a boy. Neil, who runs the Cheshire Cleaning Company, manages the facilities for the Saltra Apartments on Elmira Way in Salford and has installed a Salvation Army textile recycling bank for residents. The bank will help to raise money for the charity through the donation of clothes and shoes.
Neil’s family home suffered a fire when he was a child where they lost most of their possessions. The family’s local Salvation Army helped them with clothes and furniture, and assisted with temporary accommodation while the Leishams got back on their feet.
Neil comments: “I remember how generous and kind the people at The Salvation Army were. We’d lost everything and they were there to help us rebuild our lives. When I began developing our recycling offer, I was delighted to find The Salvation Army has a textile collection service that raises money for the cause that helped me all those years ago.”
The Cheshire Cleaning Company manages a portfolio of apartment blocks in Manchester. Neil had not only identified a lack of textile recycling facilities within them, but also an increasing and alarming amount of good quality textiles were being put into general waste.
The textile bank in Saltra Apartments was installed in March 2015 and has already collected over a tonne of unwanted clothes, textiles and shoes – the equivalent of a full van-load. Catherine Argyle, the area representative for the Salvation Army Trading Company, which operates the textile collection service on behalf of the charity is very impressed with these initial results. She said: “A tonne in just over six months between 140 apartments is fantastic. This would otherwise have gone to landfill, so it just goes to show how keen the residents are to recycle.”
The Salvation Army Trading Company is eager to expand its clothing collection service in apartment buildings, where typically recycling rates are poor due to lack of facilities. The organisation has over 6,700 recycling banks in the UK, which help to reduce textile waste and the negative environmental impact this has at landfill sites. From the sale of the donated items, the banks help to raise millions of pounds each year for The Salvation Army’s work in communities across the country, including homelessness and addiction services, care for older people, help at emergency incidents, support for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales, a Family Tracing Service and much, much more.
Since the textile bank was installed at Saltra Apartments, the Salvation Army Trading Company has placed a further two banks within the Fushion Apartments building on Oldfield Road. Residents there too have collected over a tonne of textiles in just over six months.
Catherine added: “We’re especially keen to collect cold weather items at the moment, such as coats, scarves and boots. We’d encourage the public to always think twice about throwing anything away – donating your unwanted items means that they’ll have a new life for someone else!”