East Sussex Homelessness Mar 2014

CRASH Joins Companions to Celebrate Opening of the Greenhouse @ Emmaus Brighton & Hove

The team from CRASH joined companions at Emmaus Brighton & Hove on Friday 28th March to celebrate the official opening of their Greenhouse project.

The need

CRASH has been working with Emmaus Brighton & Hove for many years supporting a number of their development projects. Theirs is a thriving community with a popular café, a main shop offering everything from beds, linen and curtains to fridges, freezers and table lamps. There is also an Emporium which houses the very best in vintage, retro, handmade and upcycled goods.

Continuing with their ethos of making the best of what they’ve been given, Emmaus Brighton & Hove focussed their efforts on greener things and called on CRASH for help.

The solution

The project entitled ‘Greenhouse@Emmaus’ involved the construction of a garden centre in which they will grow a range of plants, shrubs and herbs for sale. As existing building was also refurbished providing space for companions to acquire skills in horticulture.

How patrons helped

Through CRASH, the project benefitted from pro-bono professional expertise from Taylor Wimpey and Stephen Wilson Partnership and discounted support from NHBC with a value of £1,159.80 as well as essential equipment in the form of a digger and a dumper from A Plant and materials from Hanson and Travis Perkins with a value of £5,015.82. Greenhouse @ Emmaus’ was also awarded a cash grant of £20,000 from CRASH.

The social impact

Visitors can also get a real taste for growing their own food at ‘the greenhouse Community Food Garden’, which has been created by a team of Emmaus Companions and volunteers for growing organic seasonal produce. This aspect of the greenhouse project has educational purpose at its core.

Emmaus Communities offer homeless people 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. In return Companions receive accommodation, food, clothing and a small weekly allowance, but for many, the greatest benefit is a fresh start.

More information including opening times can be found at http://www.emmausbrighton.co.uk/

A YouTube video of the project can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD99QRlb8-s&feature=youtu.be

“The greenhouse is a place where a love of gardening and a creative imagination meet to inspire people to have fun with recycling and look at their outdoor space in a brand new way. Promoting up-cycling and re-use is at the heart of everything we do. We love nothing more than creating something from nothing or what others might consider to be rubbish. By making things that are not only useful but beautifully unique too we hope to inspire people to really think outside of the box. Gardening is good for you on so many levels physically, mentally and emotionally. We all have space for personal growth and development and the greenhouse project is all about growing together as a community as well as individually.”

Rachael Woodgate

Project Manager at the Greenhouse

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