Project information

Sustainable Lives

Emmaus Preston will open a new recycled furniture superstore next to the community of formerly homeless people. This will provide meaningful work and training as well as opening up opportunities for volunteers and long term unemployed people.

October 2011 - December 2016

Charity information: Preston Emmaus

Preston Emmaus
  • Need


    This project will tackle homelessness in an innovative way, by offering more than just accomodation. A chance to work and develop skills will result in more homeless people escaping the cycle of rough sleeping and move to positive destinations, such as full time employment. Homelessness is an issue in Preston, with many 'hidden' homeless people. Emmaus is able to provide an alternative to this and therefore addresses the problem of homelessness.


    Emmaus provides a long term solution to homelessness. By providing a community of supportive 'companions' who work and live together, individuals are able to rebuild their lives, gain new skills and make positive choices about their future. With support mechanisms in place to deal with health and mental health issues, Emmaus offers an holistic approach to the individual. This builds confidence and self-esteem.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide meaningful, fulfilling work and training to people who have experienced homelessness.


    » Operate a van collection service for recycled furniture from the public.
    » Run a warehouse operation for storage and refurbishment of recycled goods.
    » Manage a 'recycled furniture superstore'.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...all 'companions' engaged in work, development of skills and accredited qualifications, incresed motivation and self-esteem.

    Aim 2

    To divert bulky items of furniture and household goods away from landfill.


    » Operate a collection service for members of the public to donate their unwated items.
    » Operate a 'superstore' to sell items collected

    What success will look like

    Success will be...the number of items diverted and the positive impact on the environment.

    Aim 3

    To provide discounted furniture and household items to families and those in most need.


    » Offer discounts for customers in receipt of benefits and work with Social Services and Housing Associations to identify those people in most need.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...At least 5% of all collections going to most needy.

  • Impact


    Reduce the number of homeless people in Preston. Move people from homelessness to employment and positive futures. Statistics on homelessness will help identify official figures, but we will also look at hidden homeless information through Preston Homeless Forum. All destinations are recorded.


    Increased costs (fuel, utilities etc) - clear budget and growth projections based on other Emmaus communities and own success.
    Lack of donations - marketing strategy is in place and regular leaflet drops/talks/community activities are part of this.


    Through monthly electronic updates and newsletters, Annual reports and case studies.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £100,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £11,000 Superstore Initial costs of opening superstore
      £28,000 Collections running collection service for 5 years, including additional van in 2012
      £25,000 Rent contribution to rent for superstore (remainder funded from sales)
      £8,500 Training and Qualifications Training of companions/volunteers and qualifications
      £15,000 Companion support Support for companions in the community through dedicated mental health practicitioner
      £12,500 Warehouse operation Tools, machinery and resources to restore and maintain donated items

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Housing Benefit £120,000 Conditional
    Sales £95,000 Conditional
    Emmaus UK Solidarity Fund £15,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Preston is England's newest city and is located in the heart of Lancashire. The Emmaus community is located in Inner East Preston, one of the most deprived areas in Lancashire. As a city, Preston has challenges with homelessness, but does not attract the services and support that goes into the regions larger cities like Manchester and Liverpool.


    The project will directly benefit the people who have been homeless by providing meaningful work and training. It will also benefit the local area by offering discounted recycled furniture. Diverting from landfill has a positive affect on the environment.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Emmaus Preston is part of the Federation of Emmaus UK, which has over twenty years experience of providing support for homeless and socially excluded people. As a community in its early stages Preston has demonstarted success with a retail outlet in the City centre, bringing in over £70,000 in its first year and the time is right to expand this operation.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dave Westhead

    Assistant Community Leader in training. Dave will be instrumental in supporting the companions and ensuring everyone understands their role.

    Mark Stallard

    Mark is a companion who will have responsibility for managing the new superstore.