St Mary’s Church has a programme of fundraising to support local, national, and international charities. We raise in excess of £10,000 each year for our chosen charity.
Our Charity of the Year for 2022 is:
We are delighted to announce that our St Mary’s Charity of the Year for 2022 will be Emmaus Hertfordshire.
Homelessness – The Issue
Having a home is a fundamental human need. As well as providing shelter, a place to eat, sleep and return to at night, it also gives a sense of stability in the world. Without a home, you lack identity. No address means no record, no bank account, nowhere to keep what is important to you safe. It is dehumanizing.
Frequently linked to relationships breaking down, losing a job, mental or physical health issues, or substance misuse, being homeless will also make all these problems even harder to resolve.
The Emmaus Model
Emmaus don’t just offer a bed for the night, they offer a home for as long as someone needs it. They operate a unique model to support people to work their way out of homelessness and in Hertfordshire, provide help to 36 formerly homeless people with a home, training and mentoring, and meaningful work in their social enterprises. This opportunity, to become part of a community and make a contribution to it, plays an important role in restoring self-esteem and helping companions to find a way to overcome homelessness in the long term.
The Emmaus belief is that the empowerment of their Companions is critical in their move to independence and improvement in their lives. This is core to the ethos that Emmaus should be financially self-supporting, and the income from their social enterprises provides c. 75% of their income. They aim to develop from their 4 shops, on-line sales, and house clearance service, building on these and establishing new income streams. From the workshop they produce beautiful upcycled furniture whilst reducing waste going to landfill. All activity creates opportunities for new skills as they rebuild lives, help more homeless people, and build partnerships to expand support.
Aims for the Future
Emmaus’ aim is to improve what they do, helping more homeless people, offering them better facilities and more opportunities to grow and develop. They will also create new ways to help those in need by diversifying and developing non-resident opportunities. To do this they will need to invest and there is a lot of potential to improve their existing base in St Albans which is in dire need of modernisation.
Emmaus exists to reduce homelessness, but they also address welfare dependence, open up job opportunities and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, upcycling and working with partner organisations to engage in philanthropic activities locally and internationally. They firmly believe that being homeless is not a crime – homelessness is.
We hope you will be inspired to support Emmaus in the next stage of their journey to end it.
We are planning an attractive programme of fundraising activities throughout the year, and full details will be posted here shortly.
We need your help to reach this ambitious fundraising target. Please have a think about how you might be able to get involved. Could you:
- Take on a sponsored challenge – marathon, 10k, swim, cycle, or something more unusual?
- Plan your own fundraising event?
- Suggest funding sources who might be able to help us with match funding?
- Make a donation via our online giving page?
Please get in touch for further information or to volunteer to help in some way.