We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for a gong in Homeless Link’s Excellence Awards 2023.

The national membership body for organisations supporting homeless people in England has selected Emmaus Hertfordshire as a finalist in the Social Enterprise of the Year Award. This is in recognition of the positive “social impact” of our upcycling efforts and charity shop, Out of the Emmaus Workshop, in St Peters Street, St Albans.

The award recognises social enterprise with ‘a clear mission and strategic direction alongside a social impact that is creating better outcomes for individuals experiencing homelessness’, and Emmaus Hertfordshire, which runs four shops in the county, is one of just five nominees.

Open exclusively to over 800 Homeless Link members, the annual Excellence Awards highlight the innovative and impactful work happening across the sector. The charity received 127 entries across five categories for the 2023 awards and its expert judging panel whittled these down to a shortlist of 43 impressive finalists.

Duncan Lewis, our Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to receive this nomination by Homeless Link which recognises the positive impact that our upcycling workshops are having on the lives of the people we support.

“Our workshop enables our companions (people supported by Emmaus) to learn new skills and develop a love for carpentry, upholstery, needlework and furniture restoration, while also having the satisfaction of seeing their incredible transformations being sold in the Out of the Emmaus Workshop in St Albans.

“We are extremely proud to be a charity whose very foundation of success is all thanks to the people helped here, whose skills and talents are encouraged and developed, and who bring positive benefits to their own lives and people in the wider community.

“This nomination is for each and every one of our companions, as well as our staff, volunteers, trustees and supporters. We couldn’t do it without them!”

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said: “Homeless Link’s annual Excellence Awards highlight the innovative and impactful work happening across the country to ensure that people have a place to call home and the support they need to keep it. This year, as homelessness organisations tackle soaring demand and navigate cuts to funding, it feels more important than ever to recognise these efforts, and we received some extremely strong entries.

“Emmaus Hertfordshire has had a hugely positive impact on their residents and local community with ‘Out of the Emmaus Workshop’, which restores, upscales and sells furniture, and we were delighted to be able to shortlist them for the social enterprise of the year category. We wish them the best of luck in the final decision.”

The shortlist includes organisations of all sizes from across the country, from projects showing innovative cross-sector collaborations with health to innovative housing solutions and specialist support for asylum seekers, women and people described as “hard to reach”.

A team of eminent external judges selecting the nominees for the final round, and sharing their expertise, included: Suzannah Young, Policy Officer, National Housing Federation; Sarah Faber, Investment Director, Big Issue Invest; Ross Watkins, Acting Director, Emmaus SLC; and Steve Benson, former Chief Executive of Two Saints, now an independent consultant in the homelessness sector.

They’ll be joined by Homeless Link staff Sirea Jabar, Rick Henderson, Kate Alaway and Jo Prestidge to make the critical decisions and name a stand-out winner for each category, with an announcement expected in early July.