Since my last update at the start of the year, the world as we all know it has changed significantly. I do hope that you, your family and friends are well, and coping as best you can during the lock-down. For everyone here at Emmaus Mossley, the coronavirus crisis has brought some big challenges including changes to routine, physical distancing and obviously, the closure of our Secondhand Superstore.
In times of crisis though, what is really heartening to see is true community spirit and acts of kindness. Our whole community has pulled together as best it can to support each other, meet the challenges head on and make the most of this unplanned shut-down period. We have also received much support during this time from individuals, organisations and our network of partners.
To keep spirits up, we’ve organised different activities to help reduce boredom and give people the opportunity to do something positive with their time. This has included hands-on projects within our building, outdoor activities, acts of solidarity and the option to undertake online training courses.
Over the past few weeks, lots of great work has been taking place to improve Longlands Mill. Companions and staff have worked together to carry out a host of projects including painting and decorating, replacing flooring, creating new retail displays and gardening. I would like to thank all those who have helped out and undertook projects during this time.
You may have seen our 2.6 Challenge fundraiser at the end of April or the recent Emmaus Tabletop Take-Away events with items offered on a solidarity basis to members of our local community. It has also been great to see our companions show their appreciation for all the NHS staff, carers and key-workers every Thursday evening.
Unfortunately, we had to postpone the warehouse improvement work that was due to commence in April. This work is still urgently needed but obviously not above the safeguarding and survival of our charity.
The temporary closure of our Secondhand Superstore and subsequent loss of income posed a significant risk to our charity. We took steps to mitigate against this loss by launching a COVID-19 Emergency Appeal and calling on our network of partners to help where they could. Thankfully, lots of people and organisations have answered our call, but we still have a long way to go.
I would like to give huge thanks to Strawberry Gardens and S. Williams & Sons Deli at Ashton Market for the weekly donations of fresh food to our community. My thanks also to the Operations and Neighbourhoods team at Tameside Council and key-workers James and Matthew from The ExcluSec Group for facilitating these donations.
We were fortunate to have received a grant from the Action Together COVID-19 Community Response Fund to help us through the lock-down period. We have also received a small grant from Neighbourly Community Fund.
Finally, I would like to give huge thanks to all those supporters who have donated funds to our charity over the past few weeks. We have received great support online via our COVID-19 Emergency Appeal, but also from individuals posting donations with kind messages. Your generous support has greatly helped during this difficult period – thank you from all at Emmaus Mossley!
As the lock-down starts to ease, many of you will be wondering when our Secondhand Superstore will reopen. We haven’t got a date yet and will be taking a cautious approach to reopening to ensure the safety of all companions, volunteers, staff and visitors. When we do finalise plans for reopening, all the information will be shared in advance on our website and social media channels.
Thanks for reading, stay safe and we hope to see you soon,