Homelessness charity Emmaus launches shabby chic upcycling service for Recycle Week

Shane Smith, who used to be homeless.

Shane Smith, who used to be homeless. - Credit: Archant

A Landbeach-based charity shop is launching a shabby chic furniture restoration service to tie in with Recycling Week which runs from September 25 to October 2.

Shane Smith and Mark Boden.

Shane Smith and Mark Boden. - Credit: Archant

A Landbeach-based charity shop is launching a shabby chic furniture restoration service to tie in with Recycling Week which runs from September 25 to October 2.

Customers at Emmaus Cambridge will be able to pay an extra 35 per cent to have their goods upcycled by a trained ‘companion’ like Shane Smith, who used to be homeless and has been with the charity for a month.

Mark Boden, a staff member who is leading the programme

Mark Boden, a staff member who is leading the programme - Credit: Archant

Having spent 14 years of his life in and out of prison, Shane says he wanted to turn his life around for himself and his two sons.

“Emmaus is giving me stability and support, something I haven’t had in a long time.


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“I really enjoy working with shabby chic items. It is very rewarding seeing my upcycled products being sold in our shop.

“Knowing that I have increased the value of an item is something I take great pride in.”

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Mark Boden, a staff member who is leading the programme, said: “Shabby chic allows companions to take pride in their work; seeing the end result gives them confidence, something that is hugely important at Emmaus Cambridge.”

A spokesman said: “Emmaus Cambridge provides a home and work for up to 35 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion, offering them an alternative route out of homelessness and a fantastic way of life within a supportive environment.

“The income generated through Emmaus’ shops goes straight back into the community and enables companions to develop skills, rebuild their self-respect and help others in greater need than themselves.”

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