In 2015 CRASH helped provide Companions at Emmaus Lambeth with superb new kitchen facilities thanks to the generosity and great team work of 8build, Dulux Trade and Howdens.
Emmaus Lambeth provides a home and meaningful work for up to 54 formerly homeless people, known as ‘companions’. All companions agree to sign off of Job Seekers Allowance and work as volunteers in the Community’s social enterprise. By living in this Emmaus Community, and volunteering in one of its seven shops, formerly homeless people have the chance to gain some stability and support, and take the opportunity to find a positive way to move on with their life.
Emmaus Lambeth houses 27 of its Companions at their West Norwood premise. From here they also manage a furniture warehouse and a number of shops on West Norwood High Street selling donated, recycled goods.
Each of the Companions has a role in one of these social enterprises and running the community. Within the property there are kitchen facilities and a communal lounge. In 2015 CRASH, 8build, Dulux and Howdens collaborated to refurbish the ‘night kitchen’ and communal eating area. The night kitchen acts as a server point for the main kitchen during lunch and dinner times, and a self-service kitchen for companions and staff at breakfast and other times of the day.
In November 2016, Emmaus contacted CRASH again to ask for assistance with their main kitchen as the cooking and food storage facilities were outdated and no longer sufficient for their needs. Gratte Brothers’ Key Account Manager David Sutton answered the request for help by visiting Emmaus Lambeth and carrying out a survey of the existing equipment. This survey enabled David to specify new equipment and highlighted the need for Emmaus to alter the gas supply pipe.
Once the correct gas pipes had been installed Gratte Brothers arranged the delivery and installation of a new cooker at reduced price all in time for Christmas. The following month, Gratte Brothers supplied 2 single door fridges and 2 single door freezers bringing Emmaus Lambeth’s kitchen up to a standard way beyond what would have been possible without this generosity.
CRASH contributed a grant of £7,500 to help with the installation of the new equipment. Gratte Brothers provided the advice free and supplied the materials at a heavily discounted rate saving the charity over £5,000.
To put the finishing touches to a vastly improved environment for Emmaus Companions and volunteers, CRASH obtained further assistance from Altro and Heckmondwike to completely re-floor the communal areas.