Minister Grant Shapps visits St Albans Emmaus

ST ALBANS: A district charity welcomed government minister Grant Shapps recently to showcase the fantastic work it does to help the homeless.

Mr Shapps, minister of state for Housing and Local Government, visited Emmaus after several ministers were approached by its UK office about the current housing situation in the country.

The approach created a lot of interest in the charity’s work and Mr Shapps was keen to see it in action.

Emmaus has 21 branches in the UK, known as communities, and offers homeless people a home, work and a chance to rebuild their lives.

Residents, known as companions, work full time collecting, renovating and reselling the 20 tonnes of furniture which is donated to the charity every month.

Mr Shapps visited the St Albans community in Hill End Lane where he was shown around the accommodation, the workshop and the shop itself.

Tony Ferrier, chief executive of Emmaus St Albans, said: “He was totally engaged with what we are doing here at Emmaus. He asked lots of questions and looked genuinely interested.”

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The minister was also shown a �30,000 building project which, once completed, will provide four new rooms for residents to move into.

Tony continued: “He was very impressed with our model, as we are already doing what the government is setting out to do. Further talks have been scheduled for the future.”