Emmaus Gloucestershire has been awarded £200,000 from the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust to help ensure the vital support it offers to formerly homeless people can continue amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Emmaus Gloucestershire supports 34 people who have previously been homeless by offering a place to live within a communal setting and the opportunity to gain meaningful work experience in its five charity shops.

The £200k grant has been made as part of a £16.5 million pledge from the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust to UK charities working in sectors that have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

The majority of funds Emmaus Gloucestershire needs to survive are generated by selling donated items in the charity’s Cheltenham, Gloucester, Nailsworth and Stroud shops. With all its shops temporarily closed, the charity was facing an 80% reduction in income.

Speaking on the impact the grant will have, Joe Feeley, Chief Executive at Emmaus Gloucestershire said:

“We are delighted that the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust has chosen to fund our vital work supporting formerly homeless people. Every person and household has been affected by the coronavirus lockdown and Emmaus Gloucestershire is no different. Despite our shops being closed, we’re doing all we can to keep our residents safe, supported and active.

“At Emmaus, we provide more than just a bed for the night, offering a home for as long as needed, the opportunity to gain work experience in our shops, and tailored support so people can rebuild their lives.

“The longer our shops need to remain closed, the more difficult the situation becomes. The future of our charity was very uncertain until receiving the lifeline we needed thanks to the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust. Our residents are relieved that this funding will ensure their homes are safe.”

The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust announced the £16.5 million allocation to charities severely affected by the coronavirus situation and who are working in the four areas of emergency response, the elderly and other at-risk groups, homelessness and domestic abuse.

Julia and Hans Rausing, said:

“Emmaus Gloucestershire has been doing excellent work in our community for a number of years, and we are delighted to be able to help them at this difficult time.

“The charity offers hope and opportunity to many of the most vulnerable people in Gloucestershire, and we hope this donation enables them to continue their important work tackling homelessness, whilst their shops are closed due to coronavirus.”

To find out more about Emmaus Gloucestershire and the support it provides, visit www.emmaus.org.uk/gloucestershire

For more on the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, visit https://www.juliahansrausingtrust.org/