Food suppliers to some of the UK’s best chefs kicked off a new partnership with a homelessness charity by preparing a batch of healthy meals for people with experience of homelessness. 

For the residents of Emmaus Burnley, this was a chance to sample some of the ingredients favoured by Michelin-starred restaurants, some of which are sourced from around the globe by Wellocks of Nelson and William Jackson Food Group as well as locally. 

Residents were delighted as the team of volunteers from Wellocks and WJFG chose to cook some of the community’s favourites, such as cottage pie, lamb curry as well as sausage casserole, when they visited the kitchens of Emmaus House, Old Hall Street.

Eating well

Companion Sonja said: “For people who have lived on the streets, having healthy warm food cooked with fresh ingredients, is wonderful. I was lucky enough to have meals where I was living. It’s great that we’re all able to eat well now. We are very appreciative of this partnership.” 

Emmaus Burnley provides accommodation and support for up to 24 people as well as work experience and training at the Emmaus Department Store in Rochdale. All funds from the sale of new and secondhand furniture, and white goods sold supports vulnerable people within the Emmaus community.  

Corporate volunteering

The charity cook-off was the start of a new partnership between Emmaus Burnley, Wellocks and WJFG who plan to turn up the heat on volunteering with the homelessness charity this year as part of a drive to support people in need within their local community. 

The food Group plans to donate more time and expertise in the coming months in the charity’s kitchen as well as help out in several different roles at the Emmaus Department Store, working alongside charity beneficiaries. 

Head of Culture and Communications at WJFG, Claire Simpson, said: “We’re a family-owned business and feel very strongly that a community should be a better place for having one of our businesses in it and this partnership with Emmaus in Burnley means a lot to us. They do a tremendous job, helping people when they need support most and we’re keen to help with this.” 

Sharing skills

Director of Emmaus Burnley, Stephen Buchanan, said “We’re excited to be teaming up with WJFG and Wellocks. Their volunteers impressed our whole community by cooking their favourite meals with donated ingredients. It is no mean feat to prepare food for so many people, especially considering the numbers who have dietary requirements from living on the streets for so long or in temporary accommodation.  

“Our thanks go to the staff at Wellocks and WJFG. Our residents came home from working in our store to a real treat, and the skills gained will go on to serve our residents for a long time to come. We’re very much looking forward to what’s in store for the future.”


To partner with homelessness charity Emmaus Burnley, please get in touch on 01282 430860 or please visit our volunteer roles for ways you can give back.