A charity which helps Ipswich’s homeless and long-term unemployed has been praised for its work at the opening of its new pop-up shop in the town’s busy Sailmakers Shopping Centre.
Ipswich Mayor Roger Fern performed the opening duties on Saturday (29th April) and said: “Emmaus is a wonderful charity which does so much good in the town, helping people find homes and work opportunities.
“Having a roof over your head and a job are vitally important and Emmaus does so much to restore people’s confidence and self-belief and I’m delighted that they have found a new outlet here at Sailmakers.
“The shop looks great and is very well stocked and it is also providing valuable work opportunities for Emmaus volunteers.”
The new store will be open five days a week, Tuesday to Saturday, from 9am until 4.30pm and as well as two paid staff it will also provide work experience for Emmaus volunteers.
Claire Staddon, Operations Manager for Emmaus, said: “We’re very pleased to have opened here at Sailmakers. The shop looks good and it’s going to be brilliant for us.
“The footfall is very good and we’re very well situated within the Centre and we’re aiming for quite a boutique, vintage-style feel.
“There’s already an excellent range of clothing, bric a brac and jewellery and it has been very well laid out by the tem here who have worked so hard – it looks amazing.
“We’re all about helping the homeless or long-term unemployed get back onto their feet and since opening our first shop at The Dales last February we’ve had 60 volunteers working with us and 10 have managed to find full-time employment.
“The store has made a great start and we’re very grateful to the Mayor for coming along to support us.”
Mike Sorhaindo, Manager of Sailmakers Shopping Centre, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Emmaus here. They are a very worthy charity which does a great deal of good work and helps people back into housing and employment.
“One of our strengths here at Sailmakers is the retail mix we have with major high street names and local independents.
“We have recently welcomed a number of new arrivals this year, including Ravishing Beauty, Pep & Co’s shop within a shop at Poundland and Crafty Cards and Gifts while and the new store adds to that and offers something different and of course it also offers important opportunities to Emmaus volunteers.”
The new store complements Emmaus’s shop at The Dales which specialises in re-using and up-cycling donated furniture and household goods and encourages domestic recycling.
“We’re excited about working with Sailmakers on the new shop project as the centre is a core part of Ipswich life.”
Emmaus first opened in France in the late 1940s and now has a presence in numerous countries. It came to the UK in 1991 and is at the centre of a nationwide foundation of 29 communities.