A sofa in the street 

Written by Ray

If you spotted a sofa and armchairs dumped in the street, what would you do? Tut, maybe, as you passed by, thinking how crappy some people can be in leaving others to clear their unwanted stuff.

Two young women that belong to the ToastLoveCoffee ‘family’ of helpers and friends did something different – and I think there’s a lesson in the story.

A bit of background first. Both are asylum seekers. The Home Office has housed them together in a back-to-back house, of which Harehills has so many. If you’ve ever been into one such home, you’ll know that the furniture issued as standard includes the least comfortable sofas possible. They have have metal frames and black, plastic covers. They’re horrid.

Spotting the chance to ‘upgrade’ our women carried the found sofa and chairs halfway across the district to their little house and installed it. Having dumped the Home Office sofa in the basement, they then cleaned the new ones to a standard that would shame a 5-star hotel. Result? They look ‘as new’.

You can’t but admire their enterprise – and their cleaning skills. Their efforts to make their home more comfortable – and their lives better – I find humbling.

More than that, their ability to see a chance and take it – in way that makes the world better – is the thought from this tale I’m keeping closest to mind.


published by Anna Dyson
Founder and Director of ToastLoveCoffee. CEO of Dyson family, Roundhay (Leeds) branch which involves a huge array of skills impossible to imagine or articulate! Formerly, Jewish educator and community professional.


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