Emmaus Colchester has been awarded £99,852 from the National Lottery Community Fund to help provide accommodation and support work for its companions. The funding is part of the National Lottery’s emergency support to help organisations respond to the impact of COVID-19.
The award is a welcome relief during a time that has been particularly difficult for the charity sector. Denise King, ceo at Emmaus Colchester said: “Our business model means that as a charity we are normally self-sufficient, but during lockdown we have not received the level of income that enables us to cover our accommodation, food and support costs. This award means we are able to continue to provide emotional and practical help to our companions, giving them the opportunity to gain new skills and move on when they are ready.
“We are grateful to the National Lottery as it means we can secure our home. Thanks to the Government for making this happen.
“While we are not out of the woods yet, I would like to personally thank all of our customers who have supported us during the lockdown and who have returned to our shops since they’ve reopened. I’d like to reassure everyone that we are taking the necessary measures to ensure our shops remain COVID secure.”
Emmaus Colchester is a charity that provides a home, support, training and volunteer opportunities for up to 29 people who have experienced homelessness, enabling them to rebuild their lives and move on to independent living.
Companions work within the charity’s social enterprise, selling second-hand furniture. This includes several shops and a warehouse within Colchester town centre. Since the easing of the lockdown, The Works on Osborne Street and the New Life Shop and Café on Crouch Street have reopened, while The Home Shop on the High Street is currently undergoing refurbishment.
Emmaus Colchester supports those who have formerly suffered homelessness by offering them a roof over their head and work within its social enterprise.