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Charity workshop’s record-breaking orders for garden furniture

Wed, 07/04/2021

The wood workshop at local homelessness charity Emmaus Bolton has had to ramp up production of garden furniture to meet increased demand. 

With lockdown restrictions due to be eased, the charity has been inundated with requests for garden furniture from individuals and businesses. The high demand has also been driven by the arrival of spring and a national shortage of garden furniture due to shipping problems.

Tony Stephenson, Director at Emmaus Bolton, said: “March has been our busiest month ever in terms of orders for our wood workshop with sales up 300% on the same period last year. Every piece of garden furniture we produce helps to fund the work we do, giving people a fresh start and the chance to rebuild their lives.

“Our charity supports people who have been homeless by offering a stable home, work experience and daily support for as long as they need it. Under expert advice, some of our companions – the people we support – help in our workshop so they can learn new upcycling and woodworking skills. 

From its Derby Barracks base, Emmaus Bolton has a skilled team of woodworkers and furniture makers who work with companions to create hand-made pieces. Items range from benches and picnic tables to planters, gates, and trellises. The charity also offers a bespoke service, which allows customers to specify their desired sizing, colour, varnish or treatment. 

Rachel Turner, Managing Director at Tinkerbrook Support Services CIC based in Oswaldtwistle, is one of the recent customers to purchase items from Emmaus Bolton. 

Rachel said: “Through research of local initiatives who share the same ethics, values and passions as ourselves, we came across Emmaus Bolton. Since liaising with them, the team have been so helpful, listening to our services wants and needs, advising us on the types of products they have and even giving us some very useful suggestions.”

Emmaus Bolton runs the largest charity shop in Bolton, which is due to reopen on Monday 12 April, subject to government restrictions. The charity also runs Lucie’s Pantry social supermarket, which supports more than 300 vulnerable people by providing food and essential items. 

Garden furniture items made in the Emmaus workshop range from £12 for wooden planters and can be delivered to locations in and around Bolton. Bespoke orders currently have a two-week turnaround. 

To purchase items produced at the Emmaus Bolton workshop and support the charity, visit https://www.emmausbolton.shop/ 


For media enquiries please contact Andrew Fowler at Emmaus on andy.fowler@emmaus.org.uk or 07468 537 039

Notes to Editors 

About Emmaus   
• Emmaus supports formerly homeless people by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives. 
• There are currently 29 Emmaus communities across the country, supporting more than 850 companions (formerly homeless people) in the UK. In addition, there are five Emmaus groups, all of which are working towards setting up an Emmaus community in their area.   
• Social enterprise is central to the Emmaus model as it provides meaningful work for companions but also generates funding to maintain communities. Companions living in Emmaus communities are expected to sign off all benefits, with the exception of housing benefit, which is used to help to support the community. The rest of the funding that is needed is generated through social enterprise and fundraising.   
• Emmaus communities deliver a significant return on investment. Research shows that for every £1 invested in a community, there is an £11 return, with savings to the benefits bill, health services and a reduction in crime reoffending.   
• To find out more visit www.emmaus.org.uk/bolton   
• Emmaus communities deliver a significant return on investment. Research shows that for every £1 invested in a community, there is an £11 return, with savings to the benefits bill, health services and a reduction in crime reoffending.  

Social media:
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emmausbolton 
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/BoltonEmmaus 
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emmausbolton/