Join our community

If you are interested in joining our Community, please click this link for a copy of our refferal form.

Emmaus Lambeth endeavors to provide the opportunity for homeless, and other socially disadvantaged people, to regain control of their lives by living and working alongside others in a supportive, communal environment.

Our Community at Bobby Vincent House has 27 bedrooms; each having en suite facilities, with one having disabled access.  We are based in West Norwood, approximately 15 to 20 minutes by rail from London Victoria and London Bridge or by bus from Brixton. 

 Being a part of Emmaus is not just about rebuilding your own life it is also about realising that however far you are in your journey there is always something you can do to help someone less fortunate than yourself and that we all have something to offer to the Community.

 When we do an action for someone else we call it solidarity and in Lambeth we support many local and international people in need. These range from donating money, clothing and food to various rough sleeper day centers to helping individuals who are in need. We contribute to International charities to help alleviate poverty abroad.

 It is important to point out at this stage that we are NOT a hostel. We are a secular Community made up of staff and ‘Companions’ (the name we use for our residents) who live and work together.  Companions complete a 40 hour week in various roles, e.g. shop/warehouse work, van work - driving, collecting donations and making deliveries of items of furniture bought from the shops or warehouse. Companions also carry out household and kitchen duties in the communal areas and for communal meals.

 We ask all potential Companions to stop claiming DWP benefits and, in return for their volunteering, receive a weekly allowance of £35 with an extra £8 put aside as a savings fund for when you leave.

 This will first be in cash then eventually in to a bank account which we will help you to set up. This is paid weekly at first, then fortnightly for three months, then finally monthly. This is to reflect the payments made by the DWP and workplaces.

 Full budgeting support is given so when people do choose to leave they are more likely to be successful with household budgeting.

 We do ask for eligibility to claim Housing Benefit to be paid to the Community, which goes towards covering the cost of bed and board. We have two Solidarity Rooms, for persons with no recourse to public funds, but there is normally a very long waiting list for these places.

All Companions receive a weeks' holiday every 13 weeks and as well as that week’s allowance, they also receive £125 spending money.

Emmaus in the UK currently has 29 communities with most happy to accommodate a Companion whilst on their holiday so they can visit that area.

 There are no service charges made to Companions as food is provided three times a day, as well as drinks and snacks out of work hours. Work clothes are provided, as are toiletries, cleaning materials and being able to choose clothes from our charity shop.


There is Wi-Fi supplied through the living areas and regular social activities are organised, encouraged and subsidised. We hold regular quiz nights, pool competitions, and visit some of London’s top sporting arenas.


There is a training budget available for Companions to increase or expand their skills. All Companions will have a monthly support meeting with an appropriate member of staff.


There is no time limit for Companions to stay and when they believe they are ready to leave we will give them the support to move out into independent accommodation.


 Our success depends on creating and maintaining a stable community and therefore before anyone is accepted detailed assessments of need and risk are undertaken. Emmaus Lambeth may take applicants who present with complex problems provided the Community as a whole is able to support them, it is always best to ring and discuss this first.

 The overriding principles in deciding if someone is suitable are;


  • Whether the community can provide a safe environment for the applicant, the community and others and
  • Whether the community can meet the needs and offer appropriate support to an applicant.


The Community is fully committed to an equal opportunities policy and will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, marital status, age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political opinion, disability, sexual orientation or past criminal convictions.

  • Applicants must be over 18.
  • Applicants must not have any serious mental health issues.
  • Applicants must not use drugs or have active alcohol addiction. Applicants will be considered who have recently undertaken a detox programme but conditions may be imposed.
  • Applicants must be willing to undertake up to 40 hours a week as a volunteer and to do so to the best of their ability.


All applicants must be prepared to comply with the rules of the Community which include:

  • Companions must treat each other with respect at all times and be prepared to offer support and friendship to others
  • No alcohol is allowed on the premises and we have a zero tolerance to drug use on or off site. Drug or excessive alcohol use may lead to you being excluded.
  • Violent or aggressive behaviour is not tolerated
  • Companions must not claim benefits or work outside the community or draw any money other than their community allowance


How to join or find out more:

We are a service unlike most others in London and to understand better how we try to help the homeless improve their futures we would recommend coming to visit us and finding out more. There is no pressure to join when you visit.

To arrange a visit please do contact:              

Ross Watkins on:  07495 391023 or 0300 123 2001

Or email to:

Referral forms are available at:

Emmaus Lambeth 9a Knight’s Hill, West Norwood, London, SE27 0DB, 


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