Solidarity is central to the Emmaus ethos. Companions (formerly homeless people) at Emmaus Village Carlton manage a solidarity committee, with the aim of helping local charities and individuals who are in need.
The act of solidarity can be very powerful for Emmaus companions as it is often central to rebuilding lost self-esteem, proving that everyone has the capacity to make a difference to the lives of others.
Companions meet at least once a month to discuss their latest projects. The group is always looking for their next opportunity and welcome any suggestions from the public.
Companions and staff do a fortnightly litter pick of Carlton and its surrounding areas as an act of kindness for the local area and community. This is gratefully received by those in the local community.
Salvation Army night café
In the winter when the temperature drops below zero Emmaus companions volunteer at the Salvation Army church in Bedford which opens up for the night to rough sleepers providing a warm friendly environment, hot meals and somewhere for to sleep for the night.
Monthly furniture packages
Emmaus provides monthly furniture packages on a referral basis from partner agencies. The packages are redeemed with a free voucher worth £250 to help formerly homeless people purchase furniture to help them move from supported housing into independent living.
The companion’s make a monthly donation of £250 to a charity of their choice. Recent charity donations have included The Salvation Army in Bedford, Little Heroes and Help for Heroes.
Companions take to the streets in Bedford every second Thursday with a group of volunteers. They provide hot drinks, soup and sandwiches for the homeless as well as warm clothing, toiletries and sleeping bags. On occasion the companions will attend in the Soupervan a caravan that was gifted to Emmaus Carlton by local designer Max McMurdo.