Two-year-old raises funds for St Albans homeless charity Emmaus

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 May 2020

Lilly with her homemade cheque for Emmaus Hertfordshire.

Lilly with her homemade cheque for Emmaus Hertfordshire.


A two-year-old girl has become one of the district’s youngest fundraisers after walking 2.6km for a local homeless charity.

Lilly beginning her 2.6 challenge for Emmaus.Lilly beginning her 2.6 challenge for Emmaus.

Lilly Grey Linnell took part in the 2.6 challenge, organised in place of the cancelled London Marathon, on behalf of Emmaus Hertfordshire, and has so far raised £781 in support.

She started her efforts with a social media video asking people to help her help the homeless, in which she said: “Hello everybody, my name is Lilly. On Sunday I am going to walk really far, to raise money for the homeless. Please sponsor me any money you can spare. Thank you love Lilly.”

Emmaus are currently housing and supporting 31 formerly homeless people, but since the lockdown has seen a 70 per cent loss in income. This has put immense strain on daily operations while they are also trying to shield formerly homeless residents from the virus.

Despite these ongoing pressures the charity has been supporting local foodbanks with their vans, delivering emergency furniture packages to those housed by the local authority and even providing items for hospitals. This included joining Harpenden Round Table to collect donated food from people’s driveways and doorsteps on behalf of St Albans and District Food Bank.

Emmaus Hertfordshire’s van supporting the Round Table's collection of food for St Albans and District Food Bank.Emmaus Hertfordshire’s van supporting the Round Table's collection of food for St Albans and District Food Bank.

The charity is currently looking at ways they can protect their volunteers, staff and customers when their five second-hand furniture shops can open. This includes installing screens at till points, spacing stock, creating one-way systems, and will quarantine donated items before they are displayed on the shop floor.

The charity will soon re-open their Ebay store in a reduced capacity to ensure safety for staff and volunteers.

Emmaus is preparing for an increase in homelessness as the impacts of COVID-19 stuns the economy. They have received an essential donation of 10 face shields to be used in emergency situations in their residential building, as they take in homeless people in need of accommodation. With far greater need for PPE in the NHS and care homes, Emmaus held off ordering stock, and has relied on donations instead.

To make a referral to Emmaus Hertfordshire, visit and click Get Help, or to donate any PPE please contact

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