If you are interested in joining our community, please complete and return our referral form, preferably by email, to [email protected] or alternatively by post to Ross Watkins, Community Manager, Emmaus Surrey, rear of 105 Stafford Road, Wallington, SM6 9AP.
Emmaus Surrey endeavours to provide the opportunity for homeless, and other socially disadvantaged people, to regain control of their lives by living and working alongside others in a supportive, communal environment.
We have 2 community houses in South Norwood, approximately 10 to 20 minutes by rail from London Victoria or London Bridge and less than 10 minutes from East Croydon or West Croydon.
Being a part of Emmaus is not just about rebuilding your own life, it is also about realising that however far you are in your journey, there is always something you can do to help someone less fortunate than yourself; we all have something to offer to the community.
When we do an action for someone else we call it solidarity, and at Emmaus Surrey we support many local and international people in need. These range from donating money, clothing and food to various rough sleeper day centres to helping individuals who are in need. We contribute to international charities to help alleviate poverty abroad.
It is important to point out at this stage that we are NOT a hostel. We are a secular community made up of staff and ‘companions’ (the name we use for our residents) who live and work together. Companions complete a 40 hour week in various roles, eg. shop/warehouse work, van work – driving, collecting donations and making deliveries of items of furniture bought from the shops or warehouse. Companions also carry out household and kitchen duties in the communal areas and for communal meals.
We ask all potential companions to stop claiming DWP benefits and, in return for their volunteering, receive a weekly allowance of £37 with an extra £8 put aside as a savings fund for when they leave.
This will first be in cash, then eventually into a bank account which we will help them to set up if necessary. This is paid weekly at first, then fortnightly for three months, then finally monthly. This is to reflect the payments made by the DWP and employers.
Full budgeting support is given so when people do choose to leave they are more likely to be successful with household budgeting.
We do ask for eligibility to claim Housing Benefit to be paid to the community, which goes towards covering the cost of bed and board. We have two Solidarity Rooms, for persons with no recourse to public funds, but there is normally a very long waiting list for these places.
All Companions receive a week’s holiday every 13 weeks and as well as that week’s allowance, they also receive £125 spending money.
Emmaus in the UK currently has 29 communities with most happy to accommodate a Companion whilst on their holiday so they can visit that area.
There are no service charges made to Companions as food is provided three times a day, as well as drinks and snacks outside of working hours. Work clothes are provided, as are toiletries, cleaning materials and being able to choose clothes from our charity shop.
There is Wi-Fi supplied through the living areas and regular social activities are organised, encouraged and subsidised. We hold regular quiz nights, pool competitions, and visit some of London’s top sporting arenas.
There is a training budget available for Companions to increase or expand their skills. All Companions will have a monthly support meeting with an appropriate member of staff.
There is no time limit for Companions to stay and when they believe they are ready to leave we will give them the support to move out into independent accommodation.
Our success depends on creating and maintaining a stable community and therefore before anyone is accepted detailed assessments of need and risk are undertaken. Emmaus Surrey may take applicants who present with complex problems provided the Community as a whole is able to support them, it is always best to ring and discuss this first.
The overriding principles in deciding if someone is suitable are:
The Community is fully committed to an equal opportunities policy and will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, marital status, age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, political opinion, disability, sexual orientation or past criminal convictions.
All applicants must be prepared to comply with the rules of the Community which include:
How to join or find out more:
We are a service unlike most others and to understand better how we try to help people experiencing homelessness improve their futures we would recommend coming to visit us and finding out more. There is no pressure to join when you visit.
To arrange a visit please do contact:
Ross Watkins on: 07410 406357 or 0300 123 2001
or email to: [email protected]
Emmaus Surrey, rear of 105 Stafford Road, Wallington, SM6 9AP
In an Emmaus community everyone has their own room, with communal areas for eating and socialising. During the day, companions, as our residents are known, work in our social enterprises, which are mainly charity shops. The work could include working in the shop, sorting items in the warehouse, going out to make deliveries in our vans, or working in the community home.