Homelessness charity Emmaus Merseyside has celebrated the learning achievements and waste reduction impact of their beneficiaries and volunteers.
On Thursday 30 May, Emmaus Merseyside held a special celebration event to present certificates to the charity’s beneficiaries and volunteers who had completed training courses over the past 12 months. John Burton, founder of Inside Connections, gave a passionate speech at the event and presented certificates to those who had completed courses.
Stewart Woods, a member of Emmaus Merseyside who was presented with certificates, said: “I thought the evening went really well. We all enjoyed getting together for the celebration and the food was brilliant. The companions and I received lots of certificates for all the training we’ve been doing, and it was inspiring to hear from John about his personal journey.”
Many of the courses were delivered as part of the Waste Driven project funded by the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA) and Veolia Community Fund 2018/19, which was set up to help support waste prevention, re-use and recycling projects. The money allowed Emmaus to provide house clearances and associated skills training such as heavy goods driving, customer service and furniture restoration.
Chairperson of MRWA, Councillor Tony Concepcion, who attended the celebration event, said: “We have a relationship with Emmaus Merseyside going back a few years and it’s wonderful to see them going from strength to strength. The impact they’re having on the local community – and the environment – is incredible and probably worth tenfold than the funding we’re giving them. It was a privilege to be invited to the celebration event and to applaud the achievements of the companions.”
Emmaus Merseyside supports formerly homeless people by providing a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it. The charity runs four social enterprises in Merseyside, taking in and selling donated and refurbished furniture, household goods, bric-a-brac and vintage pieces, and operating a house clearance service.
Honora Crisp, Business Manager of Emmaus Merseyside, said: “It was a real pleasure to host this special celebration to mark the achievements of our ‘Emmausing’ team members in the company of some distinguished guests.
“As well as the impact on individuals, our Waste Driven project has diverted more than 68 tonnes of household waste from landfill through the launch of our house clearance service. We’re proud to being doing our bit to help waste prevention in Merseyside and I would like to thank MRWA for their continued support in the development of our social enterprise.”
To find out more or support Emmaus Merseyside, head to www.emmaus.org.uk/merseyside. If you would like to get involved or donate an item call 0151 928 1588 or visit the visit the Emmaus charity reuse shops or superstore at 38 Sandy Road, Seaforth, Sefton L21 3TW.
Notes to Editors
Emmaus supports formerly homeless people by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives. There are currently 29 Emmaus communities across the country, supporting more than 800 companions (formerly homeless people) in the UK. In addition there are four Emmaus groups, all of which are working towards setting up an Emmaus community in their area. Emmaus aims to offer 1,000 companion places by 2020.
Social enterprise is central to the Emmaus model as it provides meaningful work for companions but also generates funding to maintain communities. Companions living in Emmaus communities are expected to sign off all benefits, with the exception of housing benefit, which is used to help to support the community. The rest of the funding that is needed is generated through social enterprise and fundraising.
Emmaus communities deliver a significant return on investment. Research shows that for every £1 invested in a community, there is an £11 return, with savings to the benefits bill, health services and a reduction in crime reoffending.
Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority is responsible for the disposal of municipal waste on Merseyside. Established in 1986 following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, it is a statutory Authority that works with all the local authorities on Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MRWA takes a lead in advocating recycling, waste minimisation and safe and effective disposal of waste for Merseyside residents.
MRWA operates (via a contract with resource management company Veolia) 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s) for householders in the Merseyside area wishing to recycle and dispose of their own waste.
The MRWA and Veolia Community Fund 2018/19 saw 14 community groups from Merseyside and Halton receive a funding boost to help make the region a cleaner and greener place. The financial support was to help the groups help reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use, and prevent carbon emissions. For more information see http://www.merseysidewda.gov.uk/waste-strategy/community-fund/community-fund-201819/