New Norwich homelessness charity closer to opening in Ditchingham

A new homelessness charity in Norwich which was launched by ex-hostage Terry Waite earlier this year is closer to opening.

Emmaus Norwich, which will be the 21st Emmaus community in the UK, is being set up at All Hallows convent in Ditchingham, near Bungay, where up to 25 homeless people will live and work later this year.

Emmaus communities offer homeless people a home, work and the chance to rebuild their lives, but they must sign off unemployment benefits and not brings drugs or alcohol into the community.

Revd Simon Ward, chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich, said yesterday: 'After a few quiet months for Emmaus Norwich we are poised ready to sign the lease in the next couple of weeks: at this point the former convent buildings at Ditchingham will become the home for Emmaus Norwich and we will be another step along our journey towards setting up a community for formerly homeless people.

'It's an exciting time for Emmaus Norwich as we have our community leader, Paul Bain, in place and we hope the first few companions very soon.'

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As reported, Mr Waite, who is president of the charity, addressed a crowd of several hundred people at Norwich cathedral in April and explained what the charity did and urged people to support it in Norfolk.

Each Emmaus community aims to become self-supporting, and companions, as residents are known, receive accommodation, food, clothing and a small weekly allowance.

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They work full-time collecting, renovating and reselling donated furniture, which helps them develop skills, rebuild their self-respect and help others in greater need.

Further details about the work of Emmaus can be found at

Are you setting up a charity in Norwich? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email

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