Emmaus Suffolk: Working together to end homelessness.
Emmaus Suffolk is a new and different way of increasing the chances for the homeless and long term unemployed in Suffolk, entering back into work and have a more fulfilling life, using a tried and tested successful national model. Emmaus Suffolk is an independent charity, holding membership of the federation of Emmaus communities in the UK.
Emmaus Suffolk provides work opportunities and experience to those who have been unemployed for a long time and those that are homeless or at risk of being so. By offering volunteering roles within our (not for profit) business we want to give people the chance to make a difference for themselves, in a supportive environment through work related experience and training.
We opened our charity shop located on the outskirts of Ipswich in 2016. We re-use and up-cycle donated furniture and household goods, offering low income families more choice of affordable goods whilst encouraging domestic recycling in the local community. Donations of furniture are collected and/or dropped off at the workshop. Each piece of furniture will be evaluated and improved/mended and then put into the shop for sale. People who have been long term unemployed and or homeless can volunteer to participate at all levels of the business, including donation collection, sorting, repair, up-cycling to customer service and retail experience. Through providing occupation, people will gain experience, training & transferable skills and also self-respect and personal empowerment.
Our ambition is to introduce to Ipswich new ways of tackling entrenched homelessness and unemployment by enabling and empowering people to help themselves through meaningful activity, that will benefit both themselves and others. We need your support to start our shop and offer immediate volunteering opportunities to 30 long term unemployed people in Ipswich. The shop will in the long term income generate beyond its costs to enable us to diversify our services and look towards offering accommodation, as well as work experience opportunities.
The negative impacts of long-term unemployment have been correlated with deprivation, poor attainment and increased mental health issues. 5,500 (5.7%) residents of Ipswich have never worked or are long-term unemployed which is 29.1% of the total in Suffolk. (The state of Ipswich 2013). In our first trading year we will be able to support over 50 people through work ready volunteering roles, whilst giving back to the Ipswich community they live in. Each volunteer will have their own development plan, enabling us to identify progression and future skills support required.
We are bringing Emmaus to Suffolk. A great model that works around the country offering individuals the chance to change things for themselves by working and supporting others.
How you can help:
Join our growing team of supporters. We meet every two months keeping you up to date, share ideas, skills and plan future tasks. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.