Formerly homeless people look forward to the New Year in Waveney

Seven formerly homeless people are looking forward to New Year as members of the new Emmaus Norwich Community based in Waveney.

Emmaus Norwich welcomed its first Companion - as residents are known - in August 2011 and they are now living in former convent buildings in Ditchingham.

The Sisters of the Community of All Hallows have been welcoming their new neighbours and their vision for use of their buildings has helped to establish a new start for others.

Brian Day, chairman of Emmaus Norwich, said: 'It is wonderful to see our plans for a Community finally become a reality. A lot of volunteers have worked hard for over three years to make this possible. It has been a real joy meet the companions and see them turning the buildings into their future home.'

Companions Jav, 47, and Lawrence, 49, added: 'We have had a busy few months and are looking forward to spending our first Christmas in the Community here at Ditchingham, looking forward to a busy 2012.'

Jav, Lawrence and their five Companions have been working hard decorating and tidying in preparation for others to join them and it is hoped that the community will grow to about 15 by the end of 2012.

Community leader, Paul Bain, said: 'This season is a difficult time for people who have been homeless; living with other people in an Emmaus Community helps people through. I'm delighted with our progress through 2011.'

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Emmaus Communities seek to become self-funding through developing a community business and the Emmaus van, funded by several charitable trusts, is becoming a familiar sight in the Bungay area.

• Emmaus Norwich will trade in donated goods and if anyone has any good furniture to donate please email

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