Hull homelessness charity takes giant leap by partnering with William Jackson Food Group

Local charity Emmaus Hull & East Riding has established a partnership with Hessle-based William Jackson Food Group that will support their cause in an ongoing, holistic way.

The charity provides a home, work and individual support to people who have experienced homelessness. Beneficiaries, known as companions, live within the community building on Lockwood Street and are given meaningful work within one of the charity’s social enterprises.

An initial lump-sum donation from William Jackson Food Group has allowed Emmaus Hull & East Riding to purchase a secondhand 3.5 tonne box Transit Luton, complete with tail lift. The van will play a crucial and logistical part in the charity’s social enterprise, collecting donations and delivering furniture purchased from their shops.

Emmaus Volunteer Coordinator Rosie Varley said: “This van has made a huge difference to us as it has enabled us to be able to replenish our stores quicker by being able to collect more donations. It means we are now able to get deliveries out to our customers faster too, including solidarity furniture packages to those in our local community who are in desperate need.”

In addition to the van purchase, William Jackson Food Group are also supporting the charity with regular food donations such as weekly loaves of bread. They have also set up a monthly staff volunteering day, in which different members of their team from their head office and also their bakery Jacksons, work alongside the companions in all aspects of the charity.

Rosie added: “After a very difficult period for us throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, they have helped and supported us in so many ways and they have really made a positive difference to our charity.”

A current companion at Emmaus Hull & East Riding who wishes to remain anonymous said: “The new van donated by William Jackson Food Group is more reliable and has made picking up donations and delivering stock so much easier.”

Claire Simpson, Head of Culture & Communications at William Jackson Food Group, said: “We say a community should be a better place for having one of our businesses in it and we’re really pleased to have a partnership with Emmaus which helps us make a difference locally. For us, supporting charity is more than dipping our hands in the till, it’s also about showing up, making a connection, sharing food and expertise, and assisting financially if we can. We’re really impressed by the Emmaus model which helps people help themselves, and our colleagues really enjoy visiting their community each month, chatting to companions and helping out.”

William Jackson Food Group is a family-owned, sixth generation food business with four food businesses nationwide – Jacksons, Abel & Cole, Wellocks and Belazu.

To find out more about Emmaus Hull & East Riding, please visit To find out more about William Jackson Food Group, visit

Emmaus Hull & East Riding are appealing for furniture, clothing and bric-a-brac donations. To book a free collection, visit or drop off in store.