Survey of local charities who support people facing or at risk of homelessness (deadline: Monday 24th June)

The government has asked Homeless Link and Housing Justice to work with them on the Rough Sleeping Strategy (RSS) commitment of ensuring the voices of small charities, including faith groups, are heard and form part of their future work on rough sleeping.

Appeal for Volunteers at Merseyside Homelessness Charity

Homelessness charity Emmaus Merseyside is on the hunt for local volunteers to support its community and charity shops in Sefton and Liverpool.

The charity has a number of roles available covering retail, admin, social media, upcycling, furniture repair, gardening and van driving. Emmaus is looking for individuals with suitable skills and experience, as well as a commitment to volunteer at least one day per week.

Emily Oldnall, aged 23 and from Crosby, is a volunteer admin assistant helping at Emmaus Merseyside’s community building and has been giving her time to the charity for the past 18 months. Volunteer Emily Oldnall at Emmaus Merseyside

Emily said: “The Emmaus Merseyside community is only down the road from where I live so I thought I’d get in touch and see what the role was about. I come each week doing research, sourcing products, keeping records updated and any other admin duties I can help with. I like being part of the Emmaus community and feel like I’m giving something back to charity.”

Emmaus Merseyside supports formerly homeless people by providing a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it. The charity runs three social enterprises in Merseyside, taking in and selling donated and refurbished furniture, household goods, bric-a-brac and vintage pieces.

Angela Quinn, Business Manager at Emmaus Merseyside, said: “Our local volunteers are a much valued part of the Emmaus Merseyside team. We’re keen to expand the range of roles we offer and hopefully there are opportunities that will appeal to all ages, skills and interests. If you would like to get involved then get in touch or visit us to see first-hand what we’re all about.”

Emmaus Merseyside offers all volunteers an opportunity to develop their skills and gain experience for a worthwhile cause. Training is offered where possible and all volunteers receive dinner and travel expenses on the days that they volunteer.

To find out more about the roles on offer at Emmaus Merseyside visit the ‘Get involved’ section at www.emmaus.org.uk/merseyside. If you would like to apply to become a volunteer, please call 0151 928 1588 or visit the visit the Emmaus Charity Superstore at 38 Sandy Road, Seaforth, Sefton L21 3TW.

Emmaus Merseyside's Charity Superstore and workshops

The Emmaus furniture transformation project ‘Upcycle It’ supporting homeless initiatives

A project supporting homeless people in Sefton is using upcycling and furniture restoration training to enable homeless and unemployed people to get back into their own accommodation and gain valuable employment skills.

The ‘Upcycle It (Sefton) Project is run by the Emmaus Merseyside charity, and has been supported by a £8,000 Community Fund Grant from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and Veolia Community Fund to set up the project which produces a range of upcycled and restored furniture to be sold in their Superstore in Sefton.

The project is currently training 6 individuals including Margi Allen who said “The Up-Cycle It project is great. We get training in how to change old shabby pieces of furniture into attractive articles again. We improve our skills whilst things that might be thrown away can be given a new life! Everyone wins!”

Nigel Mellor, Chair of Board of Trustees for Emmaus in Merseyside said:The training will give our volunteers even more useful skills which we need to reuse and recycle more household items donated by the public. Many of the volunteers are unemployed so we hope the skills training and volunteer experience will ultimately help them get back into employment.  The project also helps to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.”

Cllr Graham Morgan, Chairperson of MRWA said: “We’re pleased to be supporting a project that proves its value by not only improving people’s lives – but also diverting furniture from landfill.”

Carl Beer MRWA Chief Executive said: “It’s great to see items that would have been thrown away get a ‘second life’.”

The project is running for the next 3 months – with the hope that the training will continue and will be integrated into the operations of the Superstore.

All upcycled furniture is available to buy from the Emmaus Superstore, 38 Sandy Road, Seaforth, Sefton, L21 3TW

Tel: 0151 9281588, Opening hours Mon – Sat 10.00am – 4.00 pm

National Practitioner Support Service Award for Sefton Council

Sefton Council has received special recognition over how it delivers its housing options and homelessness service.

The local authority is the first on Merseyside to receive an award from the National Practitioner Support Service (NPSS).

The NPSS is a support service set up to support local authorities to deliver improved housing option services across the country.

The NPSS award has 3 levels – gold, silver and bronze – and Sefton Council has recently been awarded the bronze standard with plans in place to achieve gold in the future.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, said: “This is excellent news as we are the only council on Merseyside to have been awarded a standard.

“The award reflects our commitment to providing an excellent service to some of our most vulnerable residents as well as partnership working with our many service providers.

“We now have plans in place to progress to silver and then gold over the next 2 years as a commitment to continuous service review, development and improvement.”