Emmaus Hertfordshire opened its doors to welcome the public in at its annual Open Day and Local Business Fair on Saturday 6 July.

Emmaus Hertfordshire offers up to 39 people the opportunity to rebuild their lives following homelessness by providing a home for as long as they need it and the chance to gain new skills by volunteering in its social enterprise.

People may be used to visiting one of the charity’s five second-hand shops in Harpenden, Hemel Hempstead, Hertford, St Albans and Tring, but rarely get to see behind the scenes and around the accommodation provided to the 39 people they support.

Taking place at the charity’s St Albans site, the Emmaus Hertfordshire Open Day included a market with local businesses, social enterprises, and charities. Visitors were also able to take part in hourly tours of the Emmaus community which were very popluar, and watch upholstery and wood workshop demonstrations. Live music, activities for children, cream teas and strawberries, and Indian vegan street food from Rekha’s catering were also enjoyed by all who visited

Emmaus Hertfordshire generates its income from selling second-hand items in its social enterprise, meaning all items purchased by the public helps to ensure the charity can maintain its community home and continue its work in supporting people to overcome homelessness.

Speaking about the day, Business Development Manager, Jennifer Hewson, said:

“Regular visitors to our shops will know a bit about what we do but may not realise that the people they see working in the shops are the people we support while they are overcoming the effects of homelessness. We all had such a great day welcoming our visitors and showing them all the fabulous work we are doing with the furniture we get donated. For those people who have supported us throughout the years, we would like to say a huge thank you.”