Charity given £50K for furniture scheme

A SOCIAL enterprise which helps the homeless has been awarded £50,000.

Emmaus Community, run by Emmaus Hastings and Rother (EHR), won the money in Santander’s Social Development Awards.

The funding will enable the homelessness charity to expand its furniture recycling social enterprise, based in Whitworth Road, St Leonards.

Emmaus Community offers homeless people a home, work opportunities and the chance to rebuild their lives as they move towards independent living.

Residents are employed in the enterprise collecting, renovating and reselling donated furniture. The money will be used to build a mezzanine floor in the warehouse and install a lift in the shop, to allow the second floor to be used, creating additional storage space for donated furniture and household goods.

David Cooper, chairman of trustees, Emmaus Hastings and Rother, said: “Our charity is focused on helping socially isolated people in one of the most deprived areas in the south of England. Increasing our recycling capabilities means we will not only be able to sell more furniture and increase our income but we will also be able to support growth that will eventually allow 23 formerly homeless people to live healthy, independent lives.”

Alongside the prize money, winning social enterprises receive access to support from Santander including mentoring programmes, funding for internships and university business courses and training.

Sheralee Morris, senior CSR manager at Santander, said: “At Santander we are committed to investing in and supporting communities in the south east and the Social Enterprise Development Awards were set up to help enterprises looking to expand.

“Emmaus Community is an excellent model for social enterprise; it brings about long-term change for homeless people with social impact directly linked to the growth of the business .”

Contact Emmaus Hastings and Rother on 01424 755111.