Terry Waite CBE supports homeless charity expansion in Southampton

Emmaus Hampshire, a vibrant and thriving social enterprise which provides a unique solution for the region’s vulnerable homeless community, will be opening a new charity home superstore in Shirley, Southampton, later this week with support from Emmaus UK President, Terry Waite CBE.

The 4,000 sq ft Southampton outlet, which opens on 7th April, is a critical expansion for Emmaus in Hampshire helping to generate vital revenue for the charity’s services for those who find themselves without a home in the region. The Southampton outlet will be the third store Emmaus Hampshire will currently manage, with others located in Eastleigh and Winchester and four more due to open across the county in the future.

Terry Waite joined the charity shortly after his release from captivity in Lebanon in 1992, after travelling to the country as part of an envoy for the Church of England to try and secure the release of four hostages. After being kidnapped himself and spending the first four years in solitary confinement, it gave him a great insight into the misery, isolation, fear, boredom and despair that many homeless people go through. His empathy with those who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion makes him a much loved president.

Emmaus Hampshire is now reaching out to Southampton residents to help fill the store with donated items, which can be sold on and rehomed. Donations can include unwanted furniture or homewares such as bric-a-brac, CDs, books and clothing. These can be dropped off at the shop, or Emmaus can arrange collection from your home. In fact, 96% of all donated items are recycled by Emmaus Hampshire.

Emmaus Hampshire welcomes support from commercial organisations. Leading local housebuilder Metis Homes has pledged its long-term commitment to the charity as its official sponsor. Based in Winchester and crowned Best Small Housebuilder 2017 by WhatHouse?, Metis Homes has provided financial support to Emmaus Hampshire as well as offering advice to help Emmaus Hampshire in its work to reduce homelessness.

Commenting on the Southampton opening, Emmaus Hampshire CEO, Nigel Samuels, said: “The launch of our Southampton store is vital to help increase our footprint within Hampshire, to drive funding for the services we provide for the homeless community across the country and ultimately to help more people get back on their feet.

“All our shops are run by our Companions – homeless individuals who are currently benefitting from Emmaus’ support, overseen by our Retail Support Manager.

“Our solution to help tackle homelessness is uniquely focused on helping our Companions find their way back to living independently. From providing accommodation and employment opportunities, we also offer personal development for all individuals to help support them on their way towards achieving this.

“At 4,000 sq ft, the store is quite a sizeable outlet – so any donations that the local community of Southampton can provide will be most welcome. And of course, for anyone looking to furnish their home, or in need of a specific item, we are hoping to have plenty on offer!”

In Metis Homes’ latest contribution, the housebuilder has sponsored the opening of the Shirley store and also donated a brand new car, which will be used by the Companions to travel to and from the shop.

Adam O’Brien, Managing Director at Metis Homes, said: “Emmaus Hampshire does amazing work, and we want to show our support by helping in any way we can. As well as backing the opening of the Southampton store, we are also contributing to the building of some new rooms in the Emmaus Community, so that Emmaus can provide more accommodation – taking the charity up to 33 beds in total.

“With it also being our tenth anniversary, we felt helping with the launch of the Southampton store was essential to our plans to step up our commitment to giving something back to the communities in which we build.”

For further information about Emmaus Hampshire, visit www.emmaus.org.uk/hampshire

For further information about Metis Homes, visit www.metishomes.co.uk

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