Emmaus Suffolk

Emmaus Suffolk is a charity that works with people who are socially isolated, long-term unemployed or at risk of homelessness across the county. It opened its first premises on Dales Road, Ipswich, in 2015 and has hubs in Ipswich and Felixstowe. It is about to open a new hub in Ipswich, the eighth location in Suffolk. Responding to the increasing need for innovative services that encourage good mental health, Emmaus has (quite literally) taken a creative approach to tackling social isolation in the form of hugely popular upcycling workshops. 

Upcycling is one of the charity’s most successful social enterprises.  Along with supporting the organisation’s green ethos of diverting from landfill, the weekly upcycling sessions at the Emmaus Suffolk Workshop in Sailmakers Shopping Centre, Ipswich, provide meaningful work activity for participants.  
Inclusivity is at the core of the Emmaus Suffolk community and is one of many reasons why it is so special.  The upcycling workshops also facilitate a safe space to socialise, make new friends, unpack difficult issues and find support from an expert team of support workers.   
The furniture that is created at these sessions is sold to help fund the charity, and is highly sought-after in the Emmaus Suffolk charity shops, instilling pride amongst its volunteers in abundance. The workshops have become so popular that the charity now runs sessions for the general public so that more people can get involved.  

The funding Emmaus Suffolk has received from the Suffolk Community Foundation has enabled these sessions to be free for our volunteers, run by a professional arts and crafts workshop leader and attended by an experienced support worker, who is on hand to enable participants to get the most out of the experience.  

Suffolk Community Foundation has been an invaluable support in the development and implementation of our services. Enabling the charity to evolve its offer to most suit the presenting needs. Busy hands enable hidden vulnerabilities to be identified and supported in a positive and productive way. 

Claire Staddon

CEO , Emmaus Suffolk