East Sussex Apr 2013

A-Plant Helps Build a Foundation for Homelessness Charity Emmaus

Leading equipment hire company A-Plant has helped build a foundation for Sussex homelessness charity Emmaus.

The need

This Emmaus community is part of a group of charities and social enterprises that provide a unique and innovative solution to homelessness. The communities offer homeless men and women companionship, a place to live and work, and an opportunity to integrate back into mainstream society. Companions, as residents are known, work full time collecting renovating and reselling donated furniture. This work supports the community financially and enables residents to develop skills, rebuild their self-respect and help others in greater need.

Emmaus Brighton & Hove is already a thriving community with a popular café, a main shop and an Emporium which houses the very best in vintage, retro, handmade and up-cycled goods. CRASH is supporting this latest project, entitled Greenhouse @ Emmaus.

The solution

Through the construction industry charity CRASH, A-Plant provided essential equipment for the Emmaus Community’s development of their greenhouse project which involves the erection of a garden centre in which the charity will grow a range of plants, shrubs and herbs for sale as well as transforming planters, terracotta pots and various objects for use in the garden or on a patio.

How patrons helped

Professional expertise will be provided by from Taylor Wimpey, Stephen Wilson Partnership and NHBC Building Control, equipment from A-Plant and materials from Hanson and Travis Perkins. The project will also benefit from a cash grant of £20,000 from CRASH.

The social impact

Chris is a qualified industrial paint sprayer and a companion currently living at Emmaus Brighton & Hove. He was made redundant, exhausted his savings paying rent then evicted by his landlord who refused to accept housing benefit.

Chris spends his days in the community’s workshop transforming tired second hand furniture into sought-after saleable items. Alongside the commissions he receives from customers, Chris is working on restoring a solid mahogany kitchen table which he believes could make £150 in the community’s Emporium.

“This place gives you stability and opportunities. It gives you a base so you are able to change, and they don’t impose any limit on the length of the time you stay. Just until you are ready to move on.”


Companion and Emmaus Brighton & Hove

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