Emmaus celebrates 25 years of working to end homelessness
On Saturday 25 June, each of the 28 Emmaus communities across the UK will hold celebratory events to mark 25 years of Emmaus in the UK.
Emmaus shops across the UK will be marking the occasion with a range of events, with all of the proceeds going to help Emmaus communities in other parts of the world.
The first Emmaus community opened in Cambridge in 1991. It took a different approach to dealing with homelessness than many other charities, offering the combination of a stable home and meaningful work. This stability, combined with a sense of purpose, gives Emmaus companions, as residents are known, the opportunity to recover their self-respect, which is often decimated when someone is homeless, and deal with their problems in a safe and supportive environment.
David, a companion at Emmaus Colchester explains how Emmaus has helped him: “It has given me the opportunity for a second chance and to get back on my feet. To sort out my issues and learn to live with people from different backgrounds and to appreciate things more”.
Emmaus currently supports more than 700 companions and each community operates a series of shops and warehouse social enterprises. The money generated from the social enterprises supports the community, as well as providing meaningful work for companions. Emmaus aims to be able to provide 1,000 companion places across the UK by 2020.
Nicola Holt Retail Business Manager at Emmaus St. Albans, said: “It’s a real privilege to work alongside such talented companions who work in our five shops. Emmaus provides in house training to empower companions to confidently understand and work to such a high standard in the retail social enterprises.”
Emmaus UK’s President, Terry Waite CBE added: “The way in which the UK movement has grown and been supported over the past 25 years is incredibly humbling. As homelessness continues to rise, each local community has helped to tackle this problem, providing those in need with not just a bed for the night but opportunities to work, contribute to society and change their lives on their own terms. I’m proud of all we have achieved upon this landmark anniversary and encourage you all to attend our celebration events across the country on the 25 June”
If you would like to attend the Emmaus 25th celebration, then click here to find the contact information for your closest community.