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The Community

Meeting Joel Lewis, Emmaus Brighton and Hove Business Manager
©Tony Mould: images copyright protected

Largest Emmaus community

Emmaus Brighton and Hove, which is situated on the site of the former Portslade Manor, has the distinction of being the largest Emmaus community in the country, with approximately fifty resident Companions. These individuals are following in the footsteps of George, the first Companion who worked in post-war France with Abbé Pierre the founder of the Emmaus movement. The community enables individuals to move on from homelessness, providing work and a home in a supportive, family environment.

Developing skills: helping others

The Companions work full time in Emmaus Brighton and Hove, doing various jobs which utilise their particular skills and abilities. This work supports the community financially, and enables Companions to develop skills, rebuild their self-respect and help others in greater need. Each individual has their own bedroom equipped with a television and all their meals are provided in a communal dining room. Some Companions sometimes stay for just a few months; others make the community their permanent home and stay for years.

A forty hour week

Unlike homeless hostels, Companions at Emmaus work a forty hour week, with two days off, a long weekend after three months work and a week’s holiday after six months. Companions do not claim any state benefits; their normal living expenses are covered, and they also receive a weekly allowance to pay for any extras they need. Appropriate free training is provided as required, and Companions are encouraged to avail themselves of access to local free courses.

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