‘Solidarity’ is central to the Emmaus ethos. This is when our companions (and staff) ‘pay it forward’ by helping other people in need.

The act of solidarity can be very powerful for Emmaus companions as it is often central to rebuilding lost self-esteem, proving that everyone has the capacity to make a difference to the lives of others.

We offer free items from our Emporium charity shop, if someone local has moved into an empty property and can’t afford furniture. This is organised via official referrals from housing agencies and the local council. Furniture poverty is a huge problem – but one that’s often hidden, and the impact can be devastating. Not being able to afford a bed means a poor night’s sleep, affecting your ability to live, work and study. Not having a cooker or fridge means relying on expensive takeaways and without a washing machine, you need to pay to use a launderette to have clean clothes.

In the past year, we’ve donated furniture worth around £1,500, helping 14 local households who needed support.