When a person joins our community as a companion, they are provided with an individual bedroom, all meals in a communal dining room, and normal living expenses covered. There is no time limit and this stability helps people to rebuild their lives following homelessness.
To be accepted at Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney, a person has to sign off all benefits with the exception of Housing Benefit, which is claimed by Emmaus and and helps to support the community.
Most people stay at Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney for a few months but some leave after a short time and others stay for years.
At Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney, we know that it takes more than just a roof over someone’s head to help them overcome homelessness. That’s why, unlike hostels, companions are asked to volunteer up to 40 hours per a week in our social enterprise, with two days off, a long weekend after three months, and a week’s holiday after six months.
Volunteering covers work in our two second-hand shops, maintenance, van driving, collections and deliveries, stock sorting, upcycling and kitchen work.
Appropriate free training is provided in health and safety, first aid, manual handling, food hygiene and other subjects as relevant.
Opportunities are provided to access other courses and people can apply for the Emmaus UK Companion Training Fund to help cover the costs.
Some people also choose to gain experience in the PAT testing room to test donations of electrical items.
Stuart, Emmaus companion
“My mindset has completely changed since arriving too – I feel much happier and more confident in myself again.”