Firstly, I’d like to wish you and all of our valued supporters a very happy New Year. On behalf of our community, I would like to give huge thanks for all the support, donations, purchases, time, skills, relationships, partnerships and help in-kind that is given to benefit Emmaus Mossley. It all contributes to helping our companions, strengthening our charity, improving what we offer and increasing our impact within the wider community.
We start the new year and new decade with lots of exciting projects in the pipeline. Emmaus Mossley has been based at Longlands Mill since 1997. Everything has developed steadily over the years but now our building and facilities need attention. Our future plans include refurbishing the warehouse building, renovating our community garden, improving our community kitchen and large communal room, and make enhancements to Lucie’s Café.
The most urgent work needed is to our warehouse building because it’s very tired and not really fit for purpose. In its current state, our warehouse isn’t watertight, donated furniture items are at risk of damage and the working environment for our companions and staff is not ideal. We also have big ambitions for increasing reuse and recycling, diverting more items and materials away from landfill. A refurbished warehouse will enable us to design a space that meets our current and future needs.
The contractor we’re working with is helping us plan and minimise any disruption caused to our operations, customers and neighbours. We will likely experience anything between 12 and 16 weeks of disruption whilst the work is being complete. In this time our storage will be limited so we will need to reduce the amount of collections we make. Some of our car park will be used by the contractors so there will be reduced parking space during this time.
In the coming year we’re also keen to develop our community garden. This small area of land has been improved over the years by various companions and volunteers on an ad-hoc basis. We have had some interest over the past couple of years for food growing to support our community kitchen.
After securing funds from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative, we’ve been able to create a site plan and carry out works to get the site ready for development. Subject to an external funding bid, we will be transforming the space to make it more appealing to our current companions and create food growing areas within the site.
These improvement projects sit outside of what we can afford from our social enterprise income. All of the funds generated in our Secondhand Superstore are used to sustain the Emmaus Mossley charity and our support for 26 formerly homeless people. Purchases made in our superstore go directly towards providing a home for our companions, any personal support they may need, training, qualifications and experiences.
Whatever extra projects we undertake, they cannot affect the level of support we give to companions. So, it’s vital that we keep our social enterprise going alongside looking at additional funding and assistance to get these projects done. Thanks to recent external funding, financial donations from individuals, local fundraisers and increasing business support, we are now able to progress some of these extra projects.
2020 is a really exciting year for Emmaus Mossley. We’ve never done anything as big in terms of developing the community space here at Longlands Mill. It’s a little bit daunting for us and we are a bit worried about the potential impact on our customers and supporters. We want to minimise any disruption caused and will communicate the best we can, when and what temporary arrangements will be made. Please bear with us during this time and understand that these temporary changes will ensure that we have much stronger charity going forward.
Above all else, with your continued kind support, we want to use 2020 and the years ahead to enhance our charity and improve the experience we offer to companions and visitors alike. If there are people out there with expertise in the areas we’re looking at moving forward, please do get in touch.
Thanks for reading and very best wishes for the year ahead,