Emmaus communities deliver a significant return on investment.
Research shows that for every £1 invested in a community, there is an £11 social, environmental and economic return, with savings to the benefits bill, health services and a reduction in crime.
The two films below, one by three students, Ami, Joe M and Lawson, from the Cambridge TV Summer School and the other by Ely Chkeir, gives a flavour of life at Emmaus.
On average we offer between 50 and 60 people a year the opportunity to live in our community, which means that they have the opportunity to learn the skills involved in running a retail business such as driving, customer service, selling and Portable Appliance Testing. They also have the opportunity to improve literacy skills and take the time to work through any issues they may have in a supportive environment.
We also make a significant contribution to keeping things out of landfill, which benefits the environment. On average, our customers buy in the region of 420 tonnes of previously-owned household goods a year, which would otherwise have ended up in landfill. Assuming that a double decker bus weighs in the region of 15 tonnes that is more than the weight of two double decker buses each month.
Re-using an item of furniture saves the energy associated with manufacturing a new one, which has an enormous and positive impact on reducing CO2 emissions. It also gives a whole new purpose to an item which may be finished with by one person but which still has plenty of life left in it.
As a community we are also seeking to reduce the impact that we have on the environment. We have already put solar panels on some of our roof areas in order to reduce the amount of electricity we buy and are looking at other new technologies such as heat exchange pumps and biomass boilers.