Emmaus Cambridge is always happy to see residents developing new skills, or brushing up on old ones, and we can now add guitar lessons to the list of leisure activities that we provide.

After a discussion at a companion forum, which is a quarterly meet-up between Emmaus residents, staff at Emmaus Cambridge were asked if guitar lessons could be arranged for residents. One resident wrote a bid to the Emmaus UK Training Fund – which exists to provide funding for individuals and groups in Emmaus communities – and we were awarded funding to pay for a professional teacher to come to our community on Tuesday evenings.

Acoustic guitars, from donations to our social enterprise, were given to residents who wanted to be part of this.

As well as developing a new skill, improving hand/eye co-ordination, increasing self-esteem and providing a fun activity, we are able to offer residents the opportunity to spend an evening together in a creative and meaningful way.

John Cook, Emmaus Cambridge resident

These lessons are already proving incredibly successful. An Emmaus Cambridge resident has been helping with practice and guitar maintenance, as well as encouraging as many people as possible to be involved. There is high attendance for these lessons, and it isn’t just companions – a staff member is also taking part in the lessons!

Emmaus Cambridge provide a home and meaningful work for up to 44 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion. To help residents rebuild their lives, Emmaus offers a stable and supportive environment for as long as they need it, the opportunity to gain new skills in its second-hand shop, café, and gardens, as well as the chance to complete professional training courses and get involved with leisure activities and hobbies.

To find out more about Emmaus Cambridge, please visit here.