The Duchess of Cornwall visits Emmaus

THE Duchess of Cornwall paid a Christmas visit to homelessness charity, Emmaus Hastings and Rother, officially opening the accommodation block on site.

Yesterday (December 5) the Duchess, who has been patron of Emmaus UK since 2006, was given a guided tour of the community by Mary Rigg, who joined her earlier this year on a trip to visit Emmaus in Paris.

5/12/13- HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visiting Emmaus, Hastings.

5/12/13- HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visiting Emmaus, Hastings.

Emmaus Hastings and Rother provides a home and meaningful work for 15 people who have experienced homelessness.

Companions, as the residents at Emmaus are known, live on site in purpose-built housing and work in the charity’s social enterprise, a shop selling second-hand furniture and other donated items, and a recently opened café.

Mary Rigg came to Emmaus after a relationship broke down and she found herself homeless. Initially she lived at Emmaus Brighton & Hove, but moved to Hastings & Rother last year. She has recently been very involved in opening the new café, Charlie’s, and has responsibility for running it day to day.

During her visit, the Duchess also declared the accommodation block open.

Known as Charlie Jordan House, the building is being named in memory of the first Chairman of Emmaus Hastings and Rother, who died just after the group took ownership of the community site in 2009.

David Cooper, Chairman of Emmaus Hastings and Rother, said: “Charlie Jordan was a inspirational man and was the person who had the vision and the drive to get this community going. For many years he was Chairman of Emmaus Brighton & Hove, but he recognised a need for more homelessness provision in Hastings & Rother, so pulled together a group of people to get a new community started here.

“We will be eternally grateful for what Charlie did, and it seems fitting that the building should be named after him as a permanent reminder of this. Having The Duchess of Cornwall here to support this is an honour, and a great tribute to Charlie.”