As well as providing accommodation to people who have experienced homelessness, we offer meaningful work experience in our social enterprise, and funded training so people can rebuild their confidence and self-esteem, while gaining new skills to get them back into employment. This year, we are looking to expand our social enterprise and the opportunities we can offer…
We have launched a fundraising appeal to build an on-site blacksmithing forge so formerly homeless people can get creative while learning a new trade.
The Orchard Forge will be located on our site in Ditchingham alongside our second-hand shop, upcycling workshop, and café. The new addition will provide another part of our social enterprise where residents can gain work experience, as well as producing metal goods to be sold in our shops.
Cecile Roberts, Chief Executive
“At Emmaus, we know it takes much more than just a roof over someone’s head to help them overcome homelessness. That’s why we provide meaningful work in our social enterprise and continue to look for ways to offer exciting opportunities for learning new skills.”
We don’t just support people for a few weeks, or even a few months. There is no time limit at Emmaus and when someone comes to live with us, they make it their home until they are ready to live independently. This project was suggested by the people we support as a way that they can learn something new, but also because they wanted to be able to create metal goods to sell in our shops to raise money for the place they call home.
As part of the project, we will be working with local artist Leigh Dyer, who is a sculptor specialising in stainless steel metal. Leigh will train our residents in the ancient art of blacksmithing, as well as collaboratively designing a sculpture for next year’s Waveney Valley Sculpture Trail.
We need to raise approximately £14,000 through the social tech start-up platform, Alice, which freezes donations until charities can prove they have achieved their set goals. This means that when someone gives to our project through Alice, their donation is guaranteed to make an impact, or they get their money back.
We have set goals for The Orchard Forge project and donations will go towards training Emmaus residents, building the forge, equipping the area with tools and workbenches, and creating the sculpture.