A Norfolk-based homeless charity has been given the green light to transform part of a former convent into bed and breakfast facilities.

Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney, based in Ditchigham's All Saints Convent building, supports up to 32 residents who have been previously homeless by providing a home and community for as long as needed.

The bed and breakfast at the charity's headquarters near Bungay will open to the public in 2024.

It will be a new social enterprise for the organisation and comes as the result of residents, known as companions, requesting more tangible work experience in hospitality.

Along with providing more experience for residents, the bed and breakfast facilities will increase the charity's revenue allowing it to support even more vulnerable homeless people.

The annual income from one room will pay for and provide a home in Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney’s community for one whole year.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: The Convent Building c1900The Convent Building c1900 (Image: Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney)

Cecile Roberts, CEO of Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney said: “We’re delighted to be beginning this exciting project, the benefits that this new social enterprise will bring to our charity and our residents will be transformative.

"We continually strive to give our companions more opportunities and experiences to help them out of homelessness and the B&B will do just that."

The All Hallows Convent has a rich history and was used by the sisters of All Hallows from 1859 until 2018.

Previously the convent had been used as a House of Mercy in the 1800s to support ‘fallen women’, in later years it was used as a refuge, hospital, school, and nursery.

In June last year, the site received grade II listed status by Historic England and Emmaus will sympathetically restore the historic building, protecting, and prolonging its legacy.

The charity has received permission to restore the building with a new roof, windows, and chimney and required internal repairs, to preserve the building's heritage.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: A mock up of B&B Bedroom plansA mock up of B&B Bedroom plans (Image: Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney)

Sister Shelia, of All Hallows Community, says “It has been wonderful to see how Emmaus has used the community buildings.

"The place has touched many lives over the years, and we should like to wish Emmaus all the very best as this latest development moves forward.”

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Former Convent Building to be ConvertedFormer Convent Building to be Converted (Image: Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney)