After many years of development and fundraising, the Emmaus Hull & East Riding charity really got going in 2014 when work started on the construction of our community building.
Many individuals and local groups had spent many years fundraising to enable Emmaus Hull & East Riding to get off the ground. This included work by our founding trustees and volunteers to build support and raise funds at the Emmaus Newland charity shop.
Key supporters at this early stage included The Sir James Reckitt Charitable Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, Emmaus UK and the Rayne Foundation. Hull City Council also kindly provided the land and a financial contribution for the construction of our social enterprise.
After building work was completed, we welcomed our first companions in December 2015. The Orchard – our community home – was officially opened in February 2016. The following year, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, Royal Patron of Emmaus UK, visited Emmaus Hull & East Riding to tour our new community and meet with companions.
Emmaus Hull & East Riding is an independent charity that is part of a wider national Emmaus federation and international Emmaus movement.
Emmaus began in France shortly after the Second World War, when homelessness was a big issue. The first Emmaus community was founded in Paris in 1949 by Father Henri-Antoine Grouès, better known as Abbé Pierre.
After the first, more Emmaus communities opened across France. Abbé Pierre became an international figure and travelled the world spreading the word about Emmaus, leading to new communities being set up on four continents.
The first Emmaus community in the UK opened in 1991 and came out of one man’s realisation that what homeless people wanted was self-respect, not handouts.
More UK Emmaus communities quickly followed and they now stretch from Glasgow to Dover. No two Emmaus communities are the same – each has its own individual personality and provides services that meet the needs of its local area.
The UK now has the most Emmaus communities outside of France.