Recently, I stumbled across the Emmaus Second Hand Superstore, a huge charity shop housed in the shell of a former primary school. It was a welcome surprise, although I’m new to Burnley, I’d passed that way numerous time before. I had to go inside and take a look.
Emmaus is a nationwide charity which supports the homeless. They sell furniture, clothing, bric-a-brac, crockery, vinyl, books, games…you name it! To me, it will now be known as an Aladdin’s cave of unexplored treasure.
Instantly, I was drawn to the building’s Victorian charm. Every corner you turn reveals signs of its previous life as a school; the piano sat awaiting judgement day in the hall (although its been years since it last rang out a hymn as its middle C is akin to a ship’s fog horn), the old chalk board wishing us a happy Christmas, the high ceilings throughout the buildings or the winding school steps countless children have climbed over the years.
Before leaving, we were fortunate to happen on a chance meeting with an Emmaus employee. I’d made the assumption that the shop was staffed by volunteers, not so. He explained the Emmaus philosophy:
“Emmaus gives the homeless a hand up, rather than a hand out.”
In return for a 30 hour working week, employees are paid with a home, food and some cash. Most importantly, “a chance to rebuild their life in a supportive environment.”
A philosophy echoed in the employee’s words. He continued to tell us how Emmaus had given him a different life, a life of changed priorities. He also disliked my Guns and Roses t-shirt, but each to their own.
Emmaus is a nationwide charity with branches across the UK, however you can also support Emmaus by browsing their online auctions on eBay.
As always, much love,
Did you see my last accidental thrift? It’s a beauty!