The Duchess, who is Royal Patron of Emmaus UK, was given a tour of the Emmaus Preston Megastore, the UK’s largest charity shop, and introduced to companions, volunteers, staff and trustees from Emmaus communities across the North West.

Leading the tour was Karen Wallis, Deputy Support Manager at Emmaus Preston and former beneficiary of the charity. Karen dramatically turned her life around after escaping an abusive partner and overcoming drug addiction. She moved to Emmaus Preston in 2012 and the support she received from the charity changed her life. Karen is now employed by the charity to support others who are trying to find a way out of homelessness.

Her Royal Highness was introduced to companions, a staff member and Chair from Emmaus Mossley to learn more about the first Emmaus community to open in the North West.

“It was a great pleasure for four of us from Emmaus Mossley to be invited to join Emmaus Preston on such an exciting day for their community. Along with other members of the Emmaus North West Partnership, Emmaus Mossley helped Emmaus Preston in the early days of their Megastore and are so pleased to see that the hard work of their companions has turned this into such a great success.

“Meeting and chatting to the Duchess of Cornwall was the highlight of the day for us. She’s a committed patron of Emmaus and is always genuinely interested in meeting companions and clearly enjoys talking to all those she meets.” Frances Hirst, Chair of Trustees at Emmaus Mossley

At the end of the tour, a choir from Emmaus Salford performed Christmas Carols for The Duchess and, as part of the reception; Her Royal Highness joined other guests by writing message on a Christmas decoration, placing it onto the community Christmas tree.

There are six Emmaus communities across the North West located in Bolton, Burnley, Merseyside, Mossley, Preston and Salford. Across the UK there are currently 29 Emmaus communities, supporting more than 790 companions.

Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home and work in a community setting. The Emmaus Mossley Secondhand Superstore not only generates an income to help sustain the charity, it also offers work and training opportunities to people supported at Emmaus.

To find out more or support Emmaus Mossley head to www.emmaus.pleasecheck.me/mossley. If you would like to get involved or donate an item, please call 01457 838608 or visit the store at Longlands Mill, Queen Street, Mossley OL5 9AH.