Community members from Emmaus Leeds have travelled to the French capital to take part in the Salon Emmaus 2019.
On Sunday 23 June, a 20,000m2 hall at the Paris Expo welcomed more than 120 Emmaus groups from across Europe to sell a wide range of items. All the money raised will be used to support world-wide Emmaus International projects which tackle poverty and social exclusion.
A group of six people from Emmaus Leeds teamed up with community members from Emmaus Mossley to take a van load of bric-a-brac, clothes, textiles and small furniture items to sell at the event.
22-year-old Josh is a community member of Emmaus Leeds and was part of the team that attended the Salon Emmaus in Paris.
Josh said: “This was my first time abroad, but it has opened my eyes and made me want to experience different countries and cultures.
“Emmaus helped me get a passport and now I want to do more travelling. I really enjoyed meeting other communities and seeing how they do things differently. I learnt new things, made some great connections and feel really proud of how much our stall raised for solidarity.”
Although Emmaus Leeds is an independent local charity, it is part of a much wider Emmaus movement of 350 groups located in 37 different countries. This year’s Salon Emmaus also marked the 70th anniversary of the movement which was founded in France just after the Second World War.
Joanne Stafford, Projects & Events Leader at Emmaus Leeds, said: “This was the third time I have taken a group of companions over to the Emmaus Salon in Paris. It’s a tiring weekend and there are always hurdles to overcome, but our companions always do us proud and get so much out of the experience.
“It’s amazing how we manage to get so many of our Emmaus communities all in one place, speaking different languages and having different ways of doing things, and yet working together so fluidly. Its an incredible atmosphere and we meet so many inspirational people every year.”
Emmaus Leeds supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home and work in a community setting. The concept of solidarity, getting involved in volunteering and helping groups in need, is a central ethos of Emmaus and a motivation for those who helped at the Salon Emmaus.
To find out more about the work of Emmaus Leeds head to www.emmaus.org.uk/leeds. For more information or get involved as a volunteer call 0113 248 4288 or visit Emmaus Leeds at St Mary’s Street, Leeds, LS9 7DP.