Each person living at Emmaus Colchester has an individual bedroom with all meals provided in a communal dining room and normal living expenses are covered. There is no time limit for people living with us, and this stability helps people to rebuild their lives following homelessness.
Each person receives a weekly charitable allowance to pay for any extras as well as accumulating a ‘leaving fund’ during their time in the community. This helps them pay for deposits and moving costs when they are ready to move on.
Most people stay at Emmaus Colchester for a few months but some leave after a short time and others stay for years.
At Emmaus Colchester, we know that it takes more than just a roof over someone’s head to help them overcome homelessness. That’s why, unlike hostels, companions are asked to work up to 40 hours per week in our social enterprise, with two days off, a long weekend after three months, and a week’s holiday every six months.
Once accepted at Emmaus Colchester, a person has to sign off all benefits with the exception of housing benefit, which is claimed by Emmaus to support the community.
Companions will find themselves helping in our shops and cafe, sorting stock in our warehouse, upcycling furniture in our workshop, delivering and collecting items with our transport team, working in the kitchen, assisting with general maintenance and even PAT testing.
Appropriate free training is provided in health and safety, manual handling and food hygiene.
Opportunities are provided to access other courses and people can apply for the Emmaus UK Companion Training Fund to help cover these costs.
It’s also possible to become a PAT tester, which will allow you to test electrical items that have been donated. Once items have been approved as safe, they can be sold in our shops.