One of the most important parts of the Emmaus ethos is solidarity. This means working to help someone less fortunate than yourself.
This can be very valuable for Emmaus companions as it is often key to helping to rebuild self-esteem, proving that everyone has the capacity to make a difference to the lives of others.
In January 2018, Emmaus Hertfordshire teamed up with Care4Calais, who provide direct aid to refugees living in the worst conditions across France and Belgium, to act as a central hub for receiving and transporting donations from across the country to Calais. Making the journey once a month, Emmaus Hertfordshire deliver much-needed items to those without access to shelter from the elements, basic sanitation or health facilities, adequate food, clothing or other daily essentials.
Winter rucksack appeal
Emmaus Hertfordshire holds an annual rucksack appeal to help rough sleepers during the coldest months of the year and asks the local community to get involved by donating essential winter items. These items are then distributed to rough sleepers by staff, volunteers and companions from Emmaus Hertfordshire.
We sell second-hand goods but not everyone is able to afford to buy even second-hand, so we support people on certain basic benefits, or who are referred to us, by reducing the prices of our items even further. We also work closely with other organisations looking to support vulnerable and marginalised people by providing items and helping people to furnish a home.
Each year, our companions are encouraged to get involved with charity fundraisers for local charities. So far we have participated in muddy obstacle courses, marathons, bike rides, and an abseil. This helps local charities and boosts the self esteem of our companions who can see just how much they can now contribute to society.
Cooking for local hot food provision for the homeless
Every Tuesday and Wednesday evening, Emmaus Hertfordshire helps out the volunteers at Centre 33 by cooking nutritious hot meals for the homeless. Centre 33 is the food service for the homeless in St Albans and is run entirely by volunteers. By providing two of the evening meals a week, Emmaus supports this charity to feed those living in poverty or on the streets of St Albans.