Blog: Emmaus Mossley's 20th anniversary year
Before 2016 slipped away everyone at Emmaus Mossley had already begun thinking about how to mark our 20th anniversary in 2017. We all felt it should give us an opportunity to celebrate, reflect on how far we've come in the last 20 years and to thank everyone who has contributed and made our community home and social enterprise in Mossley the success it is.
At the beginning of the year, we were all wowed by the fantastic sixties style logo designed for us by Daren which we all loved and the emblazoned t-shirts became much sought after rivaling our popular Abbe Pierre t-shirts. As well as new t-shirt designs we also commissioned a book about Emmaus Mossley chronicling its development and the people involved in its life from the beginning to the present day.
Our anniversary year started with a retail event in March to highlight the anniversary of the opening of our first shop in Mossley and it was a great success. All the funds raised on the day were donated to the Mossley Mayor's Appeal benefiting local good causes as our way of saying thank you to the wider community that has welcomed us and of which we feel such a part. Following the success of the March event we had regular 20% discount days once a month for the customers who support us.
During the year the retail areas saw some sprucing up with walls painted, a new Emporium area and stylish changes in the clothing area. This was all part of the build up to the main September celebration, marking the opening of the community home in Emmaus Mossley. The event was the highlight of our year and became a mini-festival with bands filling the air with music, food stalls and other attractions including a visit from Terry Waite, the Emmaus UK President. The building was a hive of activity from start to finish and companions, staff, volunteers and trustees all came together to make it a great success. This time all funds raised were given to Emmaus International as part of our commitment to the principles of our founder Abbe Pierre and our own determination to actively contribute to the ethos of Solidarity which is so important to us.
As part of our year we decided to dedicate a wall in the shop to our Solidarity work so that anyone visiting can understand more about Emmaus, the importance of Solidarity to us and its vision 'to help first those who suffer most'.
Finally at the end of a hectic year companions and staff went on a weekend camping trip – although in October they sensibly decided to seek more substantial cover than a tent!
Twenty years ago we were the first Emmaus community in the north of England and only the sixth in the whole country. Trustees from Emmaus Mossley were instrumental in the developing the North West Partnership to support new Emmaus groups in the North West, to exchange experiences and knowledge and to promote our work. This has been a great success and Emmaus is very strong in the North West with other communities in Bolton, Burnley, Merseyside, Preston and Salford. UK wide there are now 29 communities and more coming into being.
We are truly grateful to everyone who has helped in the development of Emmaus Mossley and those who continue to support us. Emmaus is a movement where everyone works together to achieve improvements for those who suffer and are socially excluded. Thank you for helping us and with your help we will continue to thrive and develop in the years to come.
Frances Hirst, Chair of Trustees at Emmaus Mossley