As far as neighbourly friendships go, we’d say we have a strong one with Burnmantofts Senior Action group (BSA), our nearby residents, located down the road from us on Stoney Rock Lane. 

Our friendship dates back to 2015, when we started inviting the residents over for Christmas dinner and have continued to do so ever since. The meals are always prepared and served by a number of our companions – people who have experienced homelessness, who now live and work in our community in Leeds. 

Burmantofts Senior Action is a local charity, providing support for elderly people living independently in their homes throughout many communities in Leeds. They also offer support services and community events to give people opportunities to socialise. 

Over the last seven months our friendship with Burmantofts has grown as we have been cooking the residents of BSA a hot and nourishing meal on a monthly basis. The initiative started when our companions expressed an interest in getting more involved with supporting Burmantofts – in line with Emmaus’ solidarity ethos of working to help others. 

Emmaus is a charity that gives back, and we’ve found that solidarity is very valuable for our 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 April of 2022, Gina Morrison, General Manager of Emmaus Leeds met with Burmantofts CEO,Tom Armstrong to discuss a monthly meal initiative. 

Over the past year or so, word about the delicious meals has got around, meaning we now feed just under 30 people every month. In addition, we also put on an annual Christmas dinner, 2022’s took place in early December and was a great success, with BSA residents donning Christmas jumpers and pulling a cracker or two! 

Tom Armstrong, CEO of BSA says: 

“Burmantofts Senior Action  is a local charity supporting older age people to live independent lives with weekly social opportunities, events and trips. This year BSA has been working very closely with Emmaus and we couldn’t have asked for better friends. Gina, Donald and the wider team have helped our members in so many ways, from companions volunteering at our weekly lunch clubs helping make sure members are welcomed and looked after. Andy and Lauren have cooked us a delicious and yummy meal once a month (we can’t wait for the first one of 2023!), and over Christmas Emmaus invited 30 BSA members to come along and be treated to a fantastic Christmas party and meal. Emmaus also offers our members free local delivery on items purchased from their superstore, helping local people already struggle with the cost of living crisis with bargain prices on tested items. We really couldn’t ask for more. Thank you to everyone at Emmaus.” 

As we begin a new year, we look forward to continuing to support Burmantofts Senior Action Group. 

Make 2023 the year you have a positive impact in your community by volunteering with Emmaus Leeds. Click here for our current opportunities.