Published: 18:23, 09 August 2021
| Updated: 18:25, 09 August 2021
Homelessness charity Emmaus Dover has completed construction of a new upcycling workshop to restore donated items.
The work on the building, which includes a warehouse, follows the reaching of a £230,000 fundraising target.
It is part of the charity’s Building a Better Future project, which aims to secure the long-term future of Emmaus Dover at Archcliffe Fort – home to 27 people who have been homeless
Upcycling, involves transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new, greater quality materials or products.
Old pieces of floorboard can be turned into food cutting boards and newspapers can be shaped into biodegradable flowerpots.
Items brought back to life in the new workshop will be sold in Emmaus Dover’s two secondhand shops, at Archcliffe and Bank Street, Ashford.
All money from this will help to provide a home, work and training for the people the charity supports – known as companions.
Formerly homeless companion Matthew Stock, who specialises in furniture restoration, said: “The new workshop is a much safer and more comfortable place to work, and the amount of natural light is great.
" I’ve been really looking forward to doing what I love again and have many ideas in the pipeline, depending on the donations we receive. It’s very exciting to have a fresh start.”
Debra Stevenson, community manager at Emmaus Dover, added: “Reuse has always been a big part of our ethos at Emmaus, so we’re thrilled to have our new upcycling workshop up and running.
“It’s a fantastic space and will give our companions the chance to develop their carpentry skills and design ideas, so they can continue creating more beautiful pieces for our customers to take home.”
Alongside the workshop, Emmaus Dover has remodelled its warehouse and storage facility with a new PAT (portable appliance testing) room.
Local organisations, such as The Albert Hunt Trust and Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, helped Emmaus Dover reach its £230,000 target for the new workshop and warehouse.
Temple Ewell company HGT Construction built it.
Fundraising for phase two of Emmaus Dover’s Building a Better Future project will begin later this year.