At Emmaus Bradford’s AGM last week we looked back over a year of rapid expansion, refurbishment, and re-homing. It’s been quite a year for our growing charity and huge credit goes to the volunteers, staff, supporters and extended family within the wider Emmaus community, for their work. They say it takes a village to bring up a child, and I think it takes a big community to bring up a small charity. It takes time, care and commitment, which our team and wider supporters have in swathes.

Our aim for people with experience of homelessness is to build up the skills to move on when they are ready. In that spirit, the AGM was also time for me to announce that I’m moving on. I’ve loved being part of Emmaus Bradford’s journey and I’m very proud of what we have achieved together:

In 2021-2022 Emmaus Bradford has:

  • Acquired a 27-bed ex-care home to start the first Emmaus community in the district
  • Refurbished common rooms and eight bedrooms, and welcomed the first seed companions (formerly homeless people).
  • Saved 43,000 items from landfill to reuse through our social enterprise and to gift to people in crisis.
  • Employed three young people through the Kickstart Scheme.
  • Recruited Community Support Manager Graham Beattie to manage the community.
  • Opened a successful new shop on Bank Street, BD1
  • Doubled our net income from sales of donated goods, house clearances and online sales.
  • Supported local people with essential furniture through our partnership with Accent Housing.
  • Recruited trustees with key skills in housing, law, HR and strategy – to strengthen our fantastic volunteer board.
  • Recruited more volunteers to build our one-the-ground team (but we always need more help on the ground).
  • Worked with new partners and funders, including Emmaus Leeds, Cadent Gas, KeepMoat Construction, Leo Group, Bradford West Rotary Club, Sondad Flooring, Tesco, Asda, Amey, Brelms Trust, and many local businesses and individuals whose solidarity and support is absolutely invaluable.

The new financial year from July 2022 has started well. Emmaus Leeds gifted us a second van, to help us respond to growing demand for our services; with Phase 1 of our refurbishment complete, we are in a position to provide more bedrooms to homeless people this winter, and we continue to work through two shops in BD1 and BD7 to provide affordable furniture, white goods and household items to residents of Bradford in need, or choosing second hand over new to reduce the impact of consumerism on the climate. There is more to do, there is more need to respond to, and Emmaus Bradford is responding.

WWe have moved on at pace, and moving on is core to the ethos of Emmaus – a charity built on the principle that people need us for as long as they need us. I have decided it’s my time to move on too, and to bring a fresh brain and new pair of hands in to steer Emmaus Bradford into it’s next era as the General Manager. My role was always intended as a fixed-term role, but the next post-holder will be joining a bigger team as a permanent executive lead, a great way to start 2023!

It’s a truly exciting time to be in Bradford in light of the city’s City of Culture on the horizon. It’s a critical time to motivate and inspire more people to reduce homeless in our district, as the costs of living crisis bites and the risks of homelessness rise for those we know are already struggling. It’s the right time to work hard and be nice to people, to empower others, and to see the potential in everyone. And, it’s the right time to have hope for people on the margins of society, and put that hope into action.

We’re looking for your help this year. To shop – volunteer – donate. To fundraise for us and with us. To share resources or stock you don’t need. To be part of our on-the ground team driving our vans, serving customers. And to share our vision – that people need a home, meaningful work, and the support to move on when they’re ready.

To apply for the exciting role of General Manager – go here and apply by 28 October.

To volunteer in our shops or on our vans, visit our volunteer roles here.

To become a corporate partner sharing resources and unused stock – email

To fundraise for us, get inspiration here, set up a Just Giving page and donate.

ThankYOU, Fran.