Terry Waite, CBE opens new Em’s Bistro at Emmaus Village Carlton
The all-new Em’s now offers customers an improved cake and serving counter, a cosy sofa area for people to relax in, as well as a creative space for community groups to meet and hold small events. When they have finished dining, customers can also browse the extensive book and bric-a-brac collections and maybe grab themselves a bargain. Every penny that a customer spends at Em’s goes back into the community to support the Emmaus companions.
Terry Waite spoke highly of the community and thanked the local community of Bedfordshire for their support and help in making Emmaus Village Carlton a thriving Emmaus community.
Terry said: "I remember coming to this site before Emmaus was set up here to talk to some of the locals who were understandably concerned about this centre. Before this all they had seen from homeless facilities were dosshouses and they feared that this would be the same, but it could not be further from the truth.
"Emmaus gives people not just a roof over their head and meals, but also a purpose. They have the opportunity to train to learn new skills, to provide something not just to what we do here but to the wider community and that is invaluable to those who may have been overlooked before.
“I would like to thank all who have worked to make this project the success that it truly is. I like to think that all who come here to browse through the books, or find a new item of furniture are not simply customers, I think of them as partners. Partners in an enterprise that is making this sad world a better place for all of us, it is a place of hope and vision”.
Emmaus Village Carlton has been a thriving community for 15 years providing not just a home for homeless people, but also a second chance in life.
It has undergone a number of additions in its time, including the opening of the Iola Newman Building as part of the overall Dovecote Project in December of last year.
Steve Arnold, chair of trustees said: "This is just the beginning of changes set to happen here, as we are gathering the £120,000 needed to provide seven new homes for companions, which will make us the biggest Emmaus site in the UK.
"I want to thank all of our companions, our volunteers, our staff and also the customers for making this work. The people who come here, buy things, drink and eat here all help fund this project to keep it going for the sake of the companions."