Leeds City Council’s collaborative efforts with its two main reuse partners, Revive Leeds and Seagulls Reuse, have been recognised on a national scale. The two social enterprises have secured spots in the prestigious NatWest SE100 Index, placing them among the top 100 social enterprises in the UK for this year.

Revive Leeds and Seagulls Reuse play integral roles in aiding Leeds residents in reusing and recycling their belongings, reducing waste and contributing to the city’s sustainability goals. Through their close partnership with the council, they have been able to offer residents access to affordable second-hand items and low-cost tins of paint, encouraging sustainable practices and diverting waste away from landfills.

The inclusion of these social enterprises in the NatWest SE100 Index is a testament to their significant social impact, commitment to sustainability, innovative approaches, and dedication to addressing climate issues and promoting equality and diversity.

Revive has been working in conjunction with Leeds City Council for over 12 years, operating two reuse shops situated at the Kirkstall and Seacroft household waste recycling centres. These shops allow residents to donate reusable items, including furniture, working electrical items, clothing, bicycles, and bric-a-brac. The profits generated from these shops directly support the charitable endeavours of St Vincent De Paul and SLATE, both of which play vital roles in alleviating poverty and supporting individuals with learning disabilities. Additionally, the charities offer training, volunteering, and apprenticeship opportunities to benefit the local community.

Moreover, Revive’s contributions to Leeds’ sustainability objectives are commendable, as they played a pivotal role in diverting 935 tonnes of CO2 from being disposed of last year. This reduction is equivalent to taking 458 cars off the road for an entire year, significantly contributing to the city’s ambitious target of achieving net zero emissions by 2030.

Seagulls Reuse, on the other hand, has been collaborating with Leeds City Council since 2010. The distinctive pink paint banks they operate at all eight-council household waste recycling centres have been a great success. On average, they collect 29 tonnes of paint per month, which is then recycled and resold at a more affordable price to families, organisations, and businesses across Leeds.

Furthermore, Seagulls Reuse actively encourages residents to embrace the practice of reusing paint and upcycling furniture instead of discarding them. In conjunction with Revive, they offer residents the opportunity to purchase low-cost tins of recycled paint from the reuse shops, further promoting sustainable habits within the community.

Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space, Councillor Mohammed Rafique, said; “It is fantastic news that both Seagulls and Revive have made the list of top 100 social enterprises in the UK, it is a real testament to their hard work and drive to help tackle the climate emergency in Leeds.

“The council will always look to work innovatively to help the city become carbon neutral and these two partnerships are great examples of this.”

Cat Hyde, co-founder at Seagulls said, “It came as a big surprise to find out we were in the top 100. We hadn’t applied ourselves and still don’t know who nominated us. It means a lot to our staff and volunteers to get this recognition as the team works incredibly hard to divert paint from landfill and provide a cheap resource for the people of Leeds.

“We also couldn’t do what we do without our wider community and the support of organisations and people in Leeds. Seagulls is a true grassroots social enterprise, started around a kitchen table to respond to environmental issues and combat social justice. We are very proud to have been recognised for our hard work.”

Louise Megson, director at Revive, said “We are a local Living Wage Foundation Accredited Employer for over 50 people, so it is a fantastic testament to the entire team that we have been named in top 100 UK social enterprises.

“Revive are proud to be working in partnership with LCC and Seagulls to help encourage more people to re-use across Leeds”