Emmaus Dover has been providing a home and meaningful work for people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion since 1995.

Our community is based at the historic Archcliffe Fort, which dates back to Henry VIII. It was extended during the 17th and 18th centuries and played a vital role in the Napoleonic Wars. The Fort continued to service as a military site until it was decommissioned in 1956, and in 1978 the derelict site passed into the care of English Heritage.

Emmaus Dover was granted a 99 year lease of the site in 1994 and, after substantial refurbishment of the buildings, the first companions (formerly homeless people supported by Emmaus) moved in the following year. The Fort has developed over the years and today it offers a home and work for up to 27 companions. Our largest shop is also based at the Fort, with a further two shops in Ashford and Canterbury.

Our Building a Better Future project aims to secure the long-term future and sustainability of Emmaus Dover. The development of our site will invest in new facilities that’ll create more opportunities for our companions, provide new income streams and a historical place of interest for the people living, working and visiting Dover and the Fort.

The four phases of the project include building a new furniture workshop and warehouse, doubling our retail space on site, providing a much-needed new car parking area for customers and creating a destination for people to learn about the history of Dover and Archcliffe Fort.

Phase one of the project aimed to raise £230,000 to build a new modern workshop for repairing and upcycling furniture for resale, and to refurbish the existing workshop space to become a new warehouse, PAT testing area and storage. We reached our fundraising target in October 2020 and the project was completed in the summer of 2021. The warehouse and workshop have already been put to great use, you can take a look at some photos of the completed buildings below. We want to say a huge thank you to all the people who provided generous support to help us raise the money for this first phase: we couldn’t have done it without you!

Fundraising for phase two, for the retail space and car park, has now started and we hope to begin work on this phase in 2022.

With your support, we can continue to change the lives of formerly homeless people in Dover.

Donate online or create your own fundraising page

For people like Lawrence (pictured above, in the current warehouse building), the money raised by Emmaus Dover’s shops means so much. All of our shops earn money to keep our charity going, and without Emmaus’s support, Lawrence would still be living on the streets. Instead, he has a home for as long as he needs it, as well as meaningful work.

Read Lawrence’s full story.

If you would like to help us to help more people like Lawrence, please save our shop by supporting this appeal.


Images of the plans for the future site

Original plans for the redeveloped site
The new workshop in progress
The completed workshop
The official opening of the new workshop