Hip, hip hooray for volunteers! Emmaus at Landbeach celebrates National Volunteers Week

Emmaus Shop in Landbeach

Emmaus Shop in Landbeach - Credit: Archant

A social enterprise which has been supporting homeless people in the area for 25 years is celebrating an event that recognises the importance of volunteers in the community.

Martin, one of the Cambridge volunteers at Emmaus

Martin, one of the Cambridge volunteers at Emmaus - Credit: Archant

Emmaus Cambridge, based at Landbeach, is marking Volunteers’ Week from June 1 to 12.

The local site was the start of 28 Emmaus branches across the country which support formerly homeless people, providing them with a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it.

Diane Docherty, from the enterprise, said: “We welcome volunteers at Emmaus Cambridge because they bring important skills to our community and help companions to learn and develop new ones.

“Our community can be very busy but offers a very rewarding environment in which to volunteer.

Selwyn Image launched Emmaus Cambridge in 1991 and the shop was officially opened in 1992

Selwyn Image launched Emmaus Cambridge in 1991 and the shop was officially opened in 1992 - Credit: Archant


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“We hope that all of our volunteers enjoy their time with us as much as we value their contribution”.

Emmaus Cambridge has seven regular volunteers working alongside companions in areas such as gardening, bric-a-brac, upcycling furniture, retail and bee-keeping.

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Emmaus gives people a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives.

Social enterprise is key as it provides work for companions but also generates funding to maintain communities.

Joan's Cafe within Emmaus Shop in Landbeach

Joan's Cafe within Emmaus Shop in Landbeach - Credit: Archant

Companions are expected to sign off all benefits, with the exception of housing benefit, which is used to help to support the community.

The Emmaus site at Landbeach was acquired in 1991 and was worked on by volunteers, enabling the first companions to move into a couple of caravans later that year.

The shop was opened in July 1992 by Terry Waite CBE and the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Runcie.

The community now offers up to 29 companions a home and the opportunity to volunteer their time in what has become a successful shop collecting and selling people’s surplus goods.

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