Homelessness charity Emmaus Preston is on the hunt for corporate volunteers to support its community and charity shops in the city.
The charity has a number of roles available in social media, Luton van driving and van crew, maintenance and its charity shops on Fishergate and on Brookfield Street in Preston.
Zuleika from Preston is a volunteer fashion champion, helping at Emmaus Preston Fashion, Vintage and Retro charity shop, sorting donations and creating eye-catching displays. The final-year student spotted the opportunity at a volunteers’ fair at the University of Central Lancashire UCLan.
Zuleika said: “Shopping at Emmaus isn’t like going into a normal clothing shop. When people come in and buy something from someone here, you are also benefitting the person you’re meeting who are working in store.
“It’s not something generic you’ll buy. It’s not something that’s just in season or even a current trend, you’ll just find something you like. Shopping at an Emmaus charity shop feels more personal.
“When you’re volunteering with Emmaus, you’re actually working alongside people supported here, and seeing how your role is changing people’s lives. That is something I wanted to do and get involved with. I’m getting to know the people I’m helping.”
Emmaus Preston supports formerly homeless people by providing a stable home and meaningful work within its charity shops for as long as is needed. One of its three second hand and new charity shops in the city is Emmaus Megastore, on the site of a former B&Q on Brookfield Street, which is one of the largest charity shops in the country.
These outlets take in and sell donated furniture, clothing and household goods, and sell brand new beds, white goods, such as washing machines and bedroom furniture. It is the profits from these stores that support the charity.
The volunteer coordinator at Emmaus Preston, Lisa Lulat, said: "Volunteering helps people who are in need. You are giving something back and it also has massive benefits to yourself. It can improve your mental mood, keep you busy, help you gain new skills (which is great for your CV), help with building communication skills, interact with others, the list goes on. If you even have a few hours a week to spare, I would recommend volunteering for Emmaus Preston."
If you or your company want to volunteer for a day or your staff can provide a longer commitment, please get in touch with Lisa.
Emmaus Preston offers all volunteers an opportunity to develop their skills and gain experience for a worthwhile cause. Training is offered where possible and all volunteers receive dinner and travel expenses on the days that they volunteer.
About Emmaus Preston
- Emmaus Preston supports people with experience of homelessness by providing a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives.
- The charity operates three shops, selling second-hand and new low-cost white goods and furniture. The largest charity retail store in the UK, Emmaus Preston Megastore on Brookfield Street, Emmaus Preston Fishergate Store and Emmaus Preston Fashion, Vintage and Retro.
- Social enterprise is central to the Emmaus model as it provides meaningful work for companions but also generates funding to maintain communities.
- Companions living in Emmaus communities are expected to sign off all benefits, with the exception of housing benefit, which is used to help to support the community. The rest of the funding that is needed is generated through social enterprise and fundraising.
- There are currently 30 Emmaus communities across the country, supporting more than 850 companions (formerly homeless people) in the UK. In addition, there are three Emmaus groups, all of which are working towards setting up an Emmaus community in their area.
- To find out more visit https://emmaus.org.uk/preston/
- Follow the charity on Twitter: @Emmaus_Preston Facebook: @prestonemmaus Instagram: prestonemmaus TikTok @emmauspreston