Peter Dowd MP celebrates achievement at Emmaus Merseyside

Peter Dowd, MP for Bootle, has visited homelessness charity Emmaus Merseyside to celebrate the achievements of formerly homeless people who are supported by the charity.

On Friday 27 April, Peter Dowd MP attended a celebration event at Emmaus Merseyside to recognise the personal achievements of companions – formerly homeless people who now live and work at the Sefton based charity. Peter presented a host of certificates to 19 companions following the successful completion of a number of training programmes.

Peter Dowd, MP for Bootle, said: “I was very impressed with the work Emmaus does in helping support people who’ve experienced homelessness. It was heartening to attend a celebration event at Emmaus Merseyside to recognise the personal achievements of companions, who’ve had the chance to re-build their lives.

“Along other MPs across the country, I’ve been dealing with emergency homelessness cases where constituents have contacted my office in crisis, having nowhere to go. If, as a country, we’re going to tackle the issue of homelessness, the government must take responsibility and do more to address the reasons. The Government should be building more affordable housing; acting on soaring private rental costs; re-thinking the cruel cuts to housing benefit and addressing the impact of universal credit on the most vulnerable.”

Some of the training was supported by the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority Community Fund which helped to increase Emmaus Merseyside’s knowledge and awareness of social media marketing for their furniture recycling activities. As a result the amount of goods saved from landfill increased significantly during the year.

Other training courses completed by Emmaus companions included Food Safety & Catering, First Aid at Work, Fire Evacuation Awareness, Introduction to Sign Language, Bee Keeping and NVQ Level 2 Certificate in Warehousing & Storage.

Rebecca O’Neil, companion at Emmaus Merseyside, said: “I thought the event went very well and it just goes to show that everyone here is working hard. It meant a lot to me getting my certificates and it made me feel good.”

Emmaus Merseyside supports formerly homeless people by providing a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it. The charity runs three social enterprises in Merseyside, taking in and selling donated and refurbished furniture, household goods, bric-a-brac and vintage pieces.

Nigel Mellor, Chair of Emmaus Merseyside, commented: “I am really proud of all the Emmaus Merseyside community members who have completed training courses and received certificates at this event. I would like to congratulate everyone on their personal achievements and thank Peter Dowd MP for taking the time out to visit us and present the certificates.”

To find out more or support Emmaus Merseyside, head to www.emmaus.org.uk/merseyside. If you would like to get involved or donate an item call 0151 928 1588 or visit the visit the Emmaus charity reuse shops or superstore at 38 Sandy Road, Seaforth, Sefton L21 3TW.

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