Local homelessness charity Emmaus Hull & East Riding has recently been supported by Hull broadband provider KCOM. The ongoing partnership has involved an initial donation, enabling the makeover of the communal area of the charity’s community building, The Orchard.
Located on Lockwood Street, The Orchard provides a stable home for up to 30 people who have experienced homelessness. As well as this, the charity provides its beneficiaries with individual support and meaningful work within one of the charity’s social enterprises. The beneficiaries – known as companions – are able to live at The Orchard for as long as they need to get back on their feet.
The generous donation from KCOM has allowed staff at Emmaus Hull & East Riding to completely renovate the communal living area of The Orchard. The new lounge can now accommodate up to 16 companions at any time.
Support Worker Sally Acton said: “Many of the companions who move in to the community have come from a turbulent and difficult past. Some may have been street-homeless and others may have been sofa surfing for some time with no fixed address. The new living area will provide a safe, comfortable and consistent space for these people to enjoy, with a real sense of community.
“We consulted with current companions about what they would like to see from the lounge makeover and what colours they liked. We have created a new space by partitioning the lounge off with curtains which separates the room from the hustle and bustle of a busy community. We bought materials from Dunelm, The Range and B&M in Hull.”
John, a companion at Emmaus Hull & East Riding said: “It feels really homely and cosy. The room refresh was really needed and it seems to have brought the community together. We’ve had some really good movie nights”
Louise Babych, KCOM’s community business partner, said: “We’re delighted to be able to help this brilliant local charity that does fantastic work in Hull and East Yorkshire. As a local business that’s been at the heart of the region for nearly 120 years it’s a privilege for us to be able to give something back to the community we serve. We hope the companions enjoy their new facilities.”
KCOM recently won the national Better Society Award for its commitment to the local community which featured the support given to Emmaus as part of its award entry.
Emmaus Hull & East Riding are appealing for furniture, clothing and bric-a-brac donations for their newest charity shop at 51 Whitefriargate shop. To book a free collection visit emmaushull.org/donate-goods-to-emmaus-hull or drop off in store.