For more than 25 years, Emmaus Dover has been providing a home, support and meaningful work opportunities for up to 27 men and women that have previously experienced homelessness, social exclusion, poverty and a lack of opportunities.

Our community is based at the historic and unique Archcliffe Fort, a military fort which dates back to Henry VIII. It was rebuilt during the 17th and 18th centuries and played a vital role in the Napoleonic Wars. A large section of the fort was demolished in the 1920’s to make way for a railway line but it remained as a military site until it was decommissioned in 1956 and part of the front of the fort was removed to make way for a duel carriageway. In 1978, the derelict site was 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 Emmaus Companions moved in the following year. The Fort has continued to develop and expand over the years. Today it offers a home for up to 27 Companions at any one time and our large second hand goods shop where the Companions are able to gain valuable work experience while staying with us.

Our Building a Better Future project was launched in 2019 with the aim to secure the long-term future and sustainability of Emmaus Dover. The development of our site will invest in new facilities that will create more opportunities for our companions, generate new income and a historical place of interest where we can share the rich history of the Fort with people living, working and visiting Dover.

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 was 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. The project cost £230,000 and the new workshop was officially opened in October 2021.  We are hugely grateful to all the individuals, companies and grant making trusts who provided generous support to help us raise the money for this first phase: we couldn’t have done it without you!

Phase Two of the Building a Better Future project is to refurbish and repair our old warehouse building into a new modern retail space and improve and expand our car park facilities. The work for this phase started in April 2023, and we are in continued need of support to finish the work and secure the long-term future of the charity for many years to come.

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