It’s the end of an era for a secondhand shop that helped launch a charity lifeline which continues to support people who have experienced homelessness in Burnley and the North West. 

Emmaus Burnley’s Ivy Street Superstore opened in March 2011 thanks to funding raised by a small group of founders spearheaded by late former Burnley MP Peter Pike. The charity shop kickstarted an Emmaus community in the town, supporting formerly homeless people and giving them a fresh start in life. 

Director of Emmaus Burnley Stephen Buchanan said: “While we are always sad to say goodbye, we are incredibly proud of all the new beginnings supporters of Ivy Street Charity Shop helped create. Not least, the opening of Emmaus Burnley’s community building for people with experience of homelessness. 

“From the late Peter Pike and the charity’s founding members to today’s volunteers and trustees who continue to show tremendous support for Emmaus Burnley, we would like to thank you for changing hundreds of lives for the better.  

“Emmaus Burnley is always growing as a charity and we’re thankful to the people and businesses who continue to volunteer their time, skills and expertise to help more people regain control after reaching crisis points in life.” 

Following temporary shop closures by the Government at the start of Covid, the decision was made to close the Emmaus Burnley Ivy Street Superstore. Despite the closure, the charity is still collecting donations of good quality furniture to help fund the support of people at Emmaus Burnley’s community building. 

In 2019, the charity was given the opportunity to run a much larger store in Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre. The three floor Emmaus Department Store was an immediate success, stocking new and donated furniture and electricals, generating income to sustain the charity’s work whilst providing valuable work and training opportunities to people supported by Emmaus Burnley. 

Emmaus continues to provide accommodation in Burnley for up to 24 formerly homeless people at its Old Hall Street premises. Since it opened, the Emmaus Burnley has helped hundreds of people regain self-esteem through tailored support packages and work-based training opportunities.  

Starting in April 2021, Emmaus Burnley also has a dedicated homeless outreach team, funded by the Freemasons, called Free Streets which works 5pm to 2am, five nights a week, supporting homeless people on the streets not just in Burnley, but across the old county palatine of Lancashire. 

Emmaus Burnley accepts referrals from individuals and organisations supporting homeless people. To find out more about making an application, please visit Our Community in the About Us section of our website.