Business in the Community entrant – Emmaus North Staffs
Emmaus North Staffs helps around 850 households every year who are struggling with furniture poverty and saves around 300 tonnes of items from going into landfill or to the incinerator.
The independent charity, which is federated with the international Emmaus movement, has a warehouse and a charity shop in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, which are both open to the public and raise funds for its work.
Much of its work involves donating and delivering around £30,000 to £35,000 of items to households in furniture poverty – around 2,500 to 3,000 pieces of furniture per year.
“These items usually go to people in socially rented accommodation. Sometimes they go to people who wouldn’t have a bed to sleep in or a chair to sit on otherwise,” said John Webbe, Executive Lead of Emmaus North Staffs.
The charity was set up six years ago and has 11 members of staff and 15 to 20 regular volunteers. It’s currently looking to recruit a retail apprentice and a retail supervisor.
An Ebay selling business, based at the Emmaus warehouse, has around 1,000 items listed at any one time.
The warehouse has a woodwork studio that runs classes for adults, funded by the National Lottery.
John said: “Last year we ran classes aimed at helping people who are long term unemployed back into employment. The current classes are open to literally any adults. They’re very social and a great way of learning new skills and meeting new people.
“People can learn furniture repair skills and also learn how to make small items of furniture and items for the home, which can help to keep furniture in use and out of landfill.”
He added: “Emmaus North Staffs provides a vital service for people in the region. It helps people out of furniture poverty, equips people with wordwork and craft skills, keeps items out of landfill, provides employment and volunteering opportunities and is a great place to shop that is open to anyone.”
Emmaus North Staffs has entered the Business in the Community category of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.