Extra rooms to help the homeless in Cambridge

PUBLISHED: 07:30 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:35 02 February 2018

29/11/16 Camilla visit
29/11/16 - Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during her visit to Emmaus in Landbeach. Picture: Keith Jones

29/11/16 Camilla visit 29/11/16 - Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall during her visit to Emmaus in Landbeach. Picture: Keith Jones

Trinity Mirror

A South Cambridgeshire charity for the homeless has launched a fundraising campaign to enable its vital services to expand.

Emmaus Cambridge is building a two-story extension at its facility in Green End, Landbeach, adding 10 rooms that can be used to put a roof over people’s heads.

Although work has started on the project, another £150,000 of funding is needed. Last week the charity launched the aptly named campaign #10FreshStarts to help find the rest of the funding.

The charity currently supports up to 34 ‘companions’ – former homeless people – by giving them a home, meaningful work, and an opportunity to regain the confidence to help rebuild their lives.

Community director Diane Docherty said: “We have been working towards expanding our community for the last couple of years. It is really important and very timely for us to have started this build now, especially in the light of the growing levels of homelessness that are being experienced across the country.”

As part of its campaign, Emmaus Cambridge has transformed a shop foyer in Landbeach into an information and fundraising point for the project.

Supporters can become part of the project by purchasing and signing a brick for £5. The bricks will then form part of a feature at the charity’s community.

The information point will also give people the opportunity to find out more about the charity’s work and how Emmaus Cambridge has changed the lives of many people. The shop will also include updates on the fundraising progress and pictures of how the building work is coming along.

Official counts put the number of people living on the streets of Cambridge at about 20-30, while the city had 39 families with children, or pregnant women, who spent Christmas in temporary accommodation.

There are currently 29 Emmaus communities across the country, supporting more than 750 companions in the UK. In addition, there are four groups which are working towards setting up an Emmaus community in their area.

Emmaus aims to offer 1,000 companion places by 2020.

The Cambridge Emmaus was the first to open in the country, in 1992.

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