Friday 9 May 2014

Emmaus President Terry Waite set to declare Bristol shop open

aaBristol new shop interior with customers 140401

Emmaus president Terry Waite, CBE will cut the ribbon to declare Emmaus Bristol’s new flagship store and headquarters officially open at 12 noon on Wednesday 13 May 2014.

Guests at the event will be welcomed by Mr Waite, a long-term supporter of Emmaus, Emmaus Bristol Chief Executive Richard Pendlebury MBE DL and HM Lord Lieutenant Mrs Mary Prior MBE JP, before enjoying a tour around the new premises.

The building, located in Stokes Croft, has undergone a £440k renovation by the charity to allow all staff and companions to work together under one roof, a big change from the organisation’s previous premises in St Philips, which were described as ‘cold, old and disjointed’.

aaBristol Backfields House exterior down street2 140429

The central location also hosts a series of ‘business incubator’ units designed to allow people from disadvantaged backgrounds to build their entrepreneurial ideas into business ventures under the guidance of Emmaus staff.

The 17,000 sq ft property encompasses the two-floor shop, boasting both vintage and retro goods and good quality second-hand items, offices and a warehouse area where collections and deliveries can be made.

Simon Sherrat, a former companion at Emmaus Bristol, is the first person to have benefited from the £403,354 European Regional Development Fund grant (South West Competitiveness Programme), made to the community earlier this year for the creation of ten jobs over the next year.

Bristol Simon Sherrat and Richard Pendlebury with computer equipment 140509

His computer recycling venture is going from strength to strength as he takes in unwanted PCs, laptops, and mobile phones and strips them for useable parts.

He said: “This is an ideal opportunity for companions and others to create their own future by running their own enterprise.”

Chief Exec, Richard Pendlebury, added: “We have a great new team on board, including our new retail manager Gaynor Ziegler and hope to increase our revenue from £4k a week to £6k a week by the end of the year, thanks to the great central location of our new shop. We are also on course to secure three further small businesses – one, tackling gang crime, another who works with ornamental plaster and who has set up a company to help young people or ‘NEETS’ to find work.”