Search

FREE GoGoDragon! stickers in today's EDP and Evening News!

Click here

Terry Waite and Louis de Bernières visit Emmaus Norwich Community, in Ditchingham

09:35 03 April 2012

Terry Waite and Louis De Bernieres on a visit to the Emmaus centre, Ditchingham, Norfolk.  Terry Waite and Louis De Bernieres with some of the residents of the centre and chairman Brian Day (right). Picture: Nick Butcher

Terry Waite and Louis De Bernieres on a visit to the Emmaus centre, Ditchingham, Norfolk. Terry Waite and Louis De Bernieres with some of the residents of the centre and chairman Brian Day (right). Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

Former hostage Terry Waite visited a community of homeless people yesterday who are working to rebuild their own lives.

Mr Waite took a tour around the Emmaus Norwich Community, in Ditchingham, near Bungay, as he saw how the charity’s latest community was establishing itself.

The former Lebanon hostage was joined by Norfolk writer Louis de Bernières as the two of them spoke to those who are helping themselves to become self sufficient.

The group of seven residents – known as companions – have been living and working together at the former All Hallows convent and last month celebrated their first day selling donated furniture and bric-a-brac.

Mr Waite, president of Emmaus UK, said the group was helping to serve the wider community and he had seen first hand how this had made a big difference to lives nationwide.

“They don’t receive charity, they come here to work and get back into life,” he said. “There is a lack of opportunity in society and giving handouts is no answer.

“We have got to provide an opportunity for people to develop their own talents and abilities.”

Mr Waite first became involved in the group after being asked by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie

“The former archbishop asked me to be involved as, through my experience in captivity he felt I understood the margins of life,” he said.

“Many people on the margins of life have been on the streets for a variety of reasons and this is an opportunity for them to get back on their feet.”

Mr de Bernières said he liked that the companions were expected to make their own way forward.

“I have been unemployed and seen how easy it can be to get into a difficult situation and see how you can’t get out. Places like this help in a constructive way,” he said.

The Emmaus Norwich Community was established at the former convent buildings to offer homeless people the chance to work and live together away from drugs or alcohol. It currently has seven companions but it is hoped it will be able support 25.

One of those enjoying their time there is Lawrence O’Sullivan, who was at Emmaus St Albans for four months before helping to set up the new community.

Mr O’Sullivan, 50, said he had been living rough in London before hearing of the community.

“There was no structure in my life but doing this I feel really good again,” he said.

The group’s secondhand outlet is open from 10am to 4pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

To donate household items contact 01986 895444 or info@emmausnorwich.org

richard.wood@archant.co.uk

1 comment

  • The Emmaus in Cambridgeshire is a great success and their store is a trove of treasure. Good fortune with the Norwich Community.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Other news

Yesterday, 09:18
Rosette Nebula. Picture: Shaun Reynolds.

These eye-catching pictures of nebulae and star clusters in deep space have been captured by keen astro-photographer Shaun Reynolds.

Mon, 11:56
The A143 between Haddiscoe and St Olaves.

Picture: James Bass

A man who was airlifted to hospital following an accident on the A143 at Haddiscoe on Saturday night has died.

Mon, 11:05
The cash box which was stolen All Saints Church in Woodton

A metal cash box has been stolen from All Saints Church in Woodton, near Bungay.

Sunday, July 26, 2015
Beccles Museum has a new exhibition detailing the lives of people who lived in Beccles during The First World war. Pam Finch and Zane Blanchard looking at the display.

As part of the Beccles Museum World War One Project, two new exhibitions have opened up detailing certain aspects of life in the town during the Great War.

Most Read

Mon, 11:56
The A143 between Haddiscoe and St Olaves.

Picture: James Bass

A man who was airlifted to hospital following an accident on the A143 at Haddiscoe on Saturday night has died.

Read more
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
Friday, September 30, 2011
The new Beccles sign.; Photo: Nick Butcher; Copy: Dan Haynes; For:  BBJ; Archant © 2008; (01603) 772434

THE new household waste and recycling site serving the Beccles, Bungay and Halesworth area is due to open on November 1.

Read more
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Ten people, including six women - are standing trial at Norwich Crown Court accused of subjecting young children to sexual and physical abuse over more than a decade.

A speeding motorist who smashed through a hedge before ending up overturned in a field near Halesworth, causing serious injuries to a 15-year-old passenger has been jailed for 21 months.

Read more
Mon, 11:05
The cash box which was stolen All Saints Church in Woodton

A metal cash box has been stolen from All Saints Church in Woodton, near Bungay.

Read more
Sunday, August 26, 2012
East Coast Truckers Convoy at County Hall, Norwich at the start of the journey to Pleasurewood Hills for children with special needs. Five year old Steven Sturman with driver Nick Revitt.Photo: Steve Adams

Norfolk and Waveney’s favourite, and noisiest, charity convoy will be winding its way through Norfolk and Suffolk roads today.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 12°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Beccles and Bungay Journal e-edition today E-edition