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Homeless charity Emmaus North East needs £25,000 for a new branded van to collect and deliver household goods for our social enterprise

by Emmaus North East in South Shields, England, United Kingdom

Emmaus North East needs to raise £25,000 to buy a new branded van, an essential piece of equipment for our social enterprise.

Social enterprise is central to the Emmaus North East model, as it provides meaningful work for the companions. It also generates the funding that will maintain our community. For every £1 spent with Emmaus, £11 is generated in social benefits.

Our social enterprise includes high street shops selling second-hand clothes, furniture and bric-a-brac. We also have a training workshop, where we repair and refurbish donated furniture and household goods to sell in our shops, providing valuable, transferrable life skills to our companions.

A van is an integral part of our success as it means we will be able to collect and deliver more donated furniture, cover a wider area, and accept larger donations, including house clearances.

As well as generating essential funds for our community, our social enterprise gives companions independence and skills which they can take on into their lives when they leave our community residence.

About Emmaus North East

The refurbishment of a former children’s home in South Shields is to be a residence for 15 formerly homeless people in South Tyneside.

Residents, known as companions, will work in the charity’s social enterprise, re-conditioning and up-cycling donated household goods. They will learn useful work skills and grow their self-confidence, eventually moving on into mainstream employment and independent living.

There are 28 successful Emmaus communities across the UK.

Companion Jenni, from Emmaus Mossley, says: "I was just sixteen when my mum died. Dad was finding it hard to cope, so I felt really alone. I suffered with depression and at times I would self-harm. Eventually, an ex-boyfriend threw me out, knowing I had nowhere to go. I slept rough for a while and eventually was referred to Emmaus. Being here is turning my life around. I no longer feel lonely because I have the staff and companions looking out for me. I also love to work and make a contribution. I now realise that I’ve been wandering through life, lurching from one bad situation to another. At Emmaus, I feel like I now have a place in the world. I’m excited by what life holds for me."

Companion Kai, from Emmaus St Albans, says: " A typical day for me here at Emmaus would be working in one of the five shops, helping on the van or working in the kitchen; there is always a job to be done... The support here at Emmaus from both the companions and staff has helped me to feel part of something which I didn’t have when I was living on the streets. Having experienced homelessness at such a young age has had a huge impact on me, I have definitely learnt a lot of life lessons that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I know that I don’t ever want to end up back on the streets again."

Sue Wilson, Chair of Emmaus North East, says: “Things are getting exciting now as we see the residence taking shape. Local residents have been calling in with donations and we are quite frankly overwhelmed with people’s generosity. We still have some money to raise but can see the light at the end of the tunnel."

You can help us make a real difference to people’s lives by helping to fund a new van for our community.

Thank you.

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