There are currently 29 Emmaus communities across the country, supporting more than 800 companions (formerly homeless people) in the UK. In addition, there are five Emmaus groups, all of which are working towards setting up an Emmaus community in their area.

Emmaus Suffolk is different to the other Emmaus communities in that we don’t have a residential offer. Instead, we provide front line services to those people facing the prospect of homelessness to try to prevent it happening. Our ambition is to introduce new ways of tackling entrenched homelessness and unemployment by enabling and empowering people to help themselves through meaningful activity that will benefit both themselves and others.

The negative impacts of long-term unemployment have been associated with deprivation, poor attainment and increased mental health issues. In Ipswich, 5,500 (5.7%) residents have never worked or are long-term unemployed, which is 29.1% of the total in Suffolk. (The state of Ipswich 2013).

We work with and encourage our non-residential companions to enter back into the workplace and to be an active member of the community, leading to a more fulfilling life. During our first two years of trading we have supported over 100 people in work ready volunteering roles, whilst giving back to the community they live in. Each volunteer has their own development plan, enabling us to identify progression and future skills support required.

As well as providing opportunities to work with us in our shops, we also run sessions in Ipswich and Felixstowe which are designed to help those living in the community who may otherwise be isolated or experiencing loneliness.

These groups are free to attend and guests to the group can simply enjoy a cup of tea and a chat with fellow visitors or they can join in with some of the craft and upcycling activities offered.

Due to current Covid-19 restrictions attendance is by appointment only. Please call Emma on 07393 583914 or email community@emmaussuffolk.org.uk to let us know you are attending.