History of MADM
From the moment of stepping out, MADM has grown from operations in a bicycle shed that stored clothes for the Maidstone Churches’ Winter Shelter, to taking on the massive former Argos building in the High Street in November 2021!
The journey from the bicycle shed involved a garage on Shepway estate, then another garage, to stalls in the Mall, two pop up charity shops at the United Reformed Church shop and then sharing an office space with the Princess Project and Empower a Woman.
The shop at 49 Church Street was our first permanent charity shop and office, followed by a second shop in the Mall, and these were all consolidated last year into the old Argos building in High Street where the retail operations and storage facilities came together.
All these things have happened organically as we were lead by the Lord a step at a time and he has been faithful to provide as we have followed Him.
MADM funds its outreach work through the retail sales, supplemented by grants and donations, so having to close two shops in 2020 due to the lockdown was potentially devastating. However, we were prompted to diversify and kept the Outreach activities going to continue serve the community. The demand was great!
We partnered with Maidstone Borough Council’s Covid-19 Mutual Aid and turned our Church Street shop into an Outreach Centre for the public. Supermarkets, charities, partner organisations were able to donate and collect food, fresh baked goods, food parcels and any basic items for house and home. We worked tirelessly full-time through the various lockdowns and by the end of 2020 we had supported over 2000 individuals and families in and around Maidstone.
In October 2020, we took on the upper area as our offices and outreach centre and now inhabit 48/49 Church Street. We were amazed to be expanding during a pandemic!
After many months of prayer, petitions, grant applications, property negotiations, meetings, long days, and faith; we moved into our new charity shop and distribution centre on Maidstone High Street in November 2021! We sadly had to close our beloved Mall shop and Church Street shops and the staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to make it happen.
The Mayor at the time, Cllr Fay Gooch launched the shop on 4th November 2021 and the donations and customers have not stopped rolling in. We are truly blessed to have been able to expand our retail, office and distribution team, serving and supporting community.
We got a fantastic bit of publicity about our opening from the Kent Messenger and it summed up what the charity is all about. One of our staff members was originally a client who was homeless and in addiction. As we worked with him he started volunteering at the shop and became a valuable staff member as a result. We have had similar experiences with other clients becoming volunteers and then staff and making people productive and valued again is an important part of our work at MADM.