Search

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.

Support your community by viewing your local businesses

Please wait

You will be able to read the article in 5 seconds

Thank you for supporting your local community

You may now read the article

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, 14:55
David Lennard retirement lunch at Prospect House

Long-serving journalist David Lennard is retiring today after working for newspapers across Norfolk and Suffolk for more than four decades.

Yesterday, 13:05
Robert Yates' company Brampton Willows has been commissioned to make three more willow waves as cross-country obstacles for this year's Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

Brampton Willows, based near Beccles, has been commissioned to make three more of its willow “waves” as cross-country obstacles for this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

Yesterday, 12:53
Eric Wareham, Graham Elliott, Yanny Mac from the Big Dog Ferry with Natalie Clement From Tescos.  The community run ferry is looking to create a new picnic/ waiting area

The Big Dog Ferry will be back on the water next month and work is set to begin to spruce up the pontoon area ahead of its launch.

Yesterday, 12:42
Youngsters from Woodton Primary run a mile around the playing field to rasie money for the NSPCC.

A nursery teacher who is gearing up to run the London Marathon has been given a helping hand with her training and fundraising by children at her school.

Most Read

Yesterday, 14:55
David Lennard retirement lunch at Prospect House

Long-serving journalist David Lennard is retiring today after working for newspapers across Norfolk and Suffolk for more than four decades.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:42
Youngsters from Woodton Primary run a mile around the playing field to rasie money for the NSPCC.

A nursery teacher who is gearing up to run the London Marathon has been given a helping hand with her training and fundraising by children at her school.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:05
Robert Yates' company Brampton Willows has been commissioned to make three more willow waves as cross-country obstacles for this year's Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

Brampton Willows, based near Beccles, has been commissioned to make three more of its willow “waves” as cross-country obstacles for this year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

Read more
Tue, 16:21
Police are reminding people to remain vigilant following a further telephone scam in Beccles.

Suffolk police are reminding people to remain vigilant following a further ‘police officer’ telephone scam in Beccles.

Read more
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Steven (Jock) Wilson with Assistant Chief Fire Officer Phil Embury, north district commander John Biffin and members of the Bungay fire crew.

A BUNGAY firefighter who has given 29 years’ service was presented with a certificate of thanks this week by Suffolk’s Assistant County Fire Officer.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 2°C

Digital Edition

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