We were delighted to be presented with the Social Enterprise of the Year national award in Homeless Link’s Excellence Awards 2023.

Homeless Link’s Head of Member Services, Kate Alaway, presented the award to our Business Development Manager, Gemma Beckett, and our community in Crosby Close, St Albans today (Friday).

The national membership body for organisations supporting people experiencing homelessness selected our charity for the “hugely positive” community impact of our ‘Out of the Emmaus Workshop’ shop in St Peters Street, St Albans.

The shop is stocked with homemade and upcycled items that have been lovingly created and rejuvenated by the formerly homeless people supported by the charity, through learning new skills in the community workshop.

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’.

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 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 our ‘Out of the Emmaus Workshop’ shop 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 award them Social Enterprise of the Year category.”

Open exclusively to over 800 Homeless Link members, the annual Excellence Awards highlights 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.

The charity was chosen from a category shortlist of six organisations of all sizes from across the country. Projects demonstrated innovative cross-sector collaborations within health, innovative housing solutions and specialist support for asylum seekers, women and people described as “hard to reach”.

Pictured left is our Social Enterprise of the Year Award

Pictured receiving the award in our workshop are (from left to right) companions Adie, Michael, Rob, Mark, Mike, our Business Development Manager, Gemma Beckett, companion Carl, Homeless Link’s Head of Member Services, Kate Alaway, our Chief Executive Officer, Duncan Lewis, and companion Paul.