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Tameside homelessness charity unites for Uprising of Kindness day

Former homeless people, supported by Tameside charity Emmaus Mossley, have completed a day of community volunteering as part of a worldwide Uprising of Kindness.

On Thursday 1 February, 20 Emmaus companions – people supported by the charity – 12 staff members and a trustee worked together in groups to support four projects in Mossley. Friends of Mossley Park, Mossley Community Centre and Mossley Town Team received extra help for the day and another group focused on improvements to green spaces surrounding the Emmaus Mossley community home.

Emmaus Mossley supports people who have experienced homelessness by providing them with a home, work opportunities, companionship and individual support. The charity is one of 30 Emmaus communities in the UK and part of a worldwide movement of over 400 Emmaus groups, working to help the most excluded and tackling the causes of poverty.

The day coincided with the 70th anniversary of Emmaus founder Abbé Pierre’s Uprising of Kindness radio appeal in Paris that sparked an outpouring of public generosity. 70 years on, Emmaus groups around the world have launched another Uprising of Kindness campaign, encouraging everyone to take action to be kind and support people in need.

Leon, a companion of Emmaus Mossley who volunteered to help Friends of Mossley Park, said: “It has been great to get out there and give back to the wider Mossley community. I think we should all do it more often to be fair as it makes a big impact and makes us feel better about ourselves as well. You’ve got to be kind to yourself to be kind to others and my hope is for everyone to be kinder to each other.”

While at Emmaus, people are given the opportunity for a fresh start, gaining skills and work experience alongside training and personal development. Solidarity is central to the Emmaus ethos and companions supported by the charity are encouraged to carry out acts of solidarity to support people in greater need.

Pauline Coates, a volunteer and Friend of Mossley Park, said: “It’s just incredible – the work they have done has been amazing. It would take us weeks to do what the Emmaus volunteers have done in less than a day - I’m so grateful. It’s important too because the park is a popular place and it’s all helping to make Mossley a better place.”

On the day, Emmaus companions helped Friends of Mossley Park tidy the park and create a new rockery at the bottom of the outdoor theatre. Another group helped out at Mossley Community Centre, re-coating their main hall and carrying out a general clean up. 

Angie Tayor, Co-ordinator at Mossley Community Centre, said: “It is absolutely amazing to have all these Emmaus volunteers on-site and so enthusiastic. They did a brilliant job and completed lots of jobs which would have taken us a long time. The support is very much appreciated by all of us at Mossley Community Centre.”

A third Emmaus group worked with Mossley Town Team to complete a litter pick of Top and Bottom Mossley. The fourth Emmaus group focussed on improvements to the green spaces on Queen Street, clearing overgrown vegetation, litter and fly-tipped waste. 

Valerie Snape, a Mossley Town Team volunteer, said: “I can’t put into words what this support means – it is absolutely brilliant. Normally there are only two of us, three tops – today we had all these lovely people from Emmaus. They’ve worked so hard and been fabulous.”

Earlier in the week, a group of Emmaus Mossley companions also volunteered with RSPB to help with planting at Dove Stone Nature Reserve in Saddleworth. The charity regularly receives acts of kindness and support from the local community and is keen to show its gratitude in return by supporting local groups and projects.

To find out more about the anniversary of Abbé Pierre’s radio appeal and how you can get involved in the Uprising of Kindness campaign, visit https://emmaus.org.uk/bemorekind

To find out more about Emmaus Mossley, visit https://emmaus.org.uk/mossley/

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