Tuesday, 7 May 2013

5. Land’s End to John O’Groats. What is Emmaus? Robbie Brough and David Sansom are walking 1,200 miles to raise money for Emmaus Oxford.

David Sansom and Rob Brough
visiting Emmaus Oxford, prior to their walk

Emmaus Oxford.  Rob and David, both 19,  from Oxford,  are currently walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for Emmaus Oxford.
Emmaus Oxford

Emmaus Oxford
Emmaus Oxford began housing homeless people just over three years ago.  Since then it has provided over 25,000 nights of accommodation to a total of 69 homeless people.  Of those that have left 72% have moved into satisfactory/non-emergency accommodation and 33% have found alternative employment and/or training.

The Emmaus difference.  The key difference between Emmaus and most other accommodation for homeless people is that Emmaus provides full time work along with a home.  This gives residents (known as Companions) the opportunity to gain self-respect, training and solid work experience through meaningful employment and the chance to help others (which we refer to as ‘Solidarity’).

A Family Home.  All Companions have comfortable rooms with an en-suite shower.  They live in a supportive purpose built environment (the Community) with extensive communal space.  Emmaus Oxford is open to any homeless person that might benefit from it, and no restrictions are placed on the length of stay – though drugs and alcohol are not allowed on the premises and Companions need to sign off all benefits, except housing benefit.  Coming off benefits also fosters a feeling of independence and self-respect.  Some Companions stay only a few weeks to get over a particular time of crisis; others stay longer until they are ready to live independently.  At the moment Emmaus Oxford accommodates 24 Companions but a further 4 places are soon to be made available in the house next door.

Social Enterprise and Solidarity.  It is hoped that Emmaus Oxford’s social enterprise – recycling furniture and other household goods will eventually enable financial self-sufficiency.  Thereafter, any surplus income will be donated to other charities.  This ‘Solidarity’ is an important aspect of the Emmaus ethos, with Companions involved in the process of selecting recipients of the trading surplus.  They already help some others directly through acts of kindness.
New Store fundraising appeal.  Emmaus Oxford is currently planning to build a brand new furniture store in Barns Road, Oxford.  This will be Oxfordshire’s largest charity shop. It is designed for purpose and will be a huge improvement on the existing store, providing significantly more training opportunities for Companions, and greatly increasing recycling capacity.  As it is also in a much better retail area it is expected to be a lynch pin in helping Emmaus Oxford to achieve financial self-sufficiency, and to secure the future, independent of the need to fundraise.  Altogether this new project is expected to cost £628,000, of which £436,000 has already been raised.  Please help towards the rest by making a donation if you can.

Emmaus Oxford is an independent registered charity that is also part of a national and international movement.

Emmaus Communities provide accommodation and work for formerly homeless people who are called Companions.  Companions come off benefits and volunteer to do up to 35 hours work a week at the Emmaus Oxford Second-Hand Superstore and Shop at Temple Cowley which recycles furniture and other household goods.
As well as accommodation Companions receive a small allowance and essential bills are paid for them.  They live in community and are fully involved in the running of this and do all their own cooking and cleaning as well as helping to run the Emmaus Oxford Second-Hand Superstore and shop at Temple Cowley.  This model provides a structure in which formerly homeless people can start to contribute to society thereby regaining self-esteem, learning new skills and getting into a rhythm of working.

If you or someone you know might be interested in becoming a Companion, please visit the homeless page on www.emmausoxford.org or jcarmichael@emmaus.org.uk

If you are interested in donating or buying furniture or other household goods, please go to Emmaus Oxford Second-Hand Superstore or the shop at Temple Cowley.

1. The Secondhand Superstore
Westlands Drive
Northway Estate
Oxford OX3 9QY

2. Smaller shop
Templars Square
Oxford OX4 3UX
Telephone for both shops 01865 763698

Donations to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/tradingplaces

www.facebook.com/davidandrobbiewalk1200miles and 
Trading Places@DRTradingPlaces