Hertfordshire Homelessness Mar 2017

CRASH helps Emmaus St Albans expand its furniture retail and recycling facilities

Emmaus supports people to work their way out of homelessness, providing meaningful work, training, support and a stable home for as long as someone needs it. Often, the view people have of someone experiencing homelessness in the UK is of a person sleeping in a shop doorway or on a park bench, but there are huge numbers of people staying with friends or sofa-surfing. This is the side of homelessness we don’t see, but it can have just as devastating an impact on the lives of the people going through it.

The need

Emmaus St Albans provides 33 formerly homeless people – known as Companions – with a safe home environment and the opportunity to work refurbishing and reselling donated furniture and undertaking various other recycling activities.

Following consultations with Emmaus Companions and staff, CRASH Corporate Patron, Ryder Architecture’s Ruth Baker created plans for a timber-framed extension at the rear of the building vital for the community to continue to generate income.

The CRASH solution

CRASH Corporate Patrons pulled together to help homelessness charity Emmaus St Albans redevelop their furniture retail and recycling facilities.

Fellow Corporate Patrons AECOM took on the M&E and structural plans as well as acting as the principal designer. BAM Construct UK project managed the process right up until Emmaus was ready to put the contract out for tender. British Gypsum, Knauf Insulation and Carillion all donated construction products and CRASH awarded a cash grant of £20,500.

Before & After:

How CRASH Corporate Patrons helped

To complete the project, teams of volunteers from AECOM, BAM and Ryder Architecture decorated the showroom space under the tutelage of a local Construction Skills lecturer. All paint and associated decorating materials were generously donated by Dulux Trade.

The Community was joined by Emmaus President Terry Waite to mark its official opening at which he gave special thanks to Ruth Baker for all her work as well as the support received from BAM Construct UK.

  • BAM Construct UK, Ryder Architecture, Arcadis & AECOM provided pro bono professional expertise.
  • British Gypsum, Knauf Insulation, Carillion and Dulux Trade all donated construction products.
  • The value of gift in kind support from CRASH Corporate Patrons and supporters came to £37,121.
  • CRASH awarded a cash grant of £20,500 bringing the total value of support to £57,621.

The impact

“Emmaus has helped me gain self-confidence and I’ve also learned how to help others. Instead of trying to be the centre of everything, now I like to think about what I can do for other people instead.”


Companion at Emmaus St Albans

Want to demonstrate your company’s commitment to social impact?

If your company would like to get involved in a future CRASH construction project to help homelessness and hospice charities, please contact us.

Get involved today

Event Date: 23/05/2024 | Location: London

The Construction Industry Dragon Boat Challenge 2024

Related Projects

Become a Corporate Patron

Together, we deliver lasting social impact in communities across the UK.

Become a Corporate Patron

Apply for Help

CRASH assists homelessness charities and hospices with their construction projects.

Together, we deliver lasting social impact in communities across the UK.