Charity renovation helps rebuild lives

We recently helped vulnerable people in and around Hastings rebuild their lives by donating materials to Emmaus, a homelessness support charity.

Emmaus has 29 communities throughout the UK, and while each is different, they all work to the same ethos of providing not just a bed, but a home to those who don’t have one.

When joining Emmaus, formerly homeless individuals – known as companions – begin meaningful work that keeps the community running. In return they gain a place where they can live and hone their skills for future employment, for as long as they need it.

Emmaus Hastings and Rother is home to 23 companions, who run the community’s charity superstore full-time. Day-to-day tasks vary, whether it’s working in the kitchen, manning the tills, or upcycling donated goods in the workshop.

When the charity needed to refurbish its superstore, it approached CRASH, a construction industry charity that builds vital spaces for homeless people and those receiving end-of-life care in a hospice. The store was beginning to show signs of age, and needed new windows, floor coverings, ceiling tiles, and a fresh lick of paint.

As a founding partner of CRASH, British Gypsum joined fellow patrons in contributing to the refurbishment. After surveying the building and assessing its users’ needs, we donated acoustic ceiling tiles to replace the existing damaged and discoloured ones.




Emmaus Hastings and Rother is now a more welcoming space for residents and customers alike, with the new ceiling tiles boosting both the acoustics and aesthetics of the building.

Niamh McCann, projects manager at CRASH, said: “Companions have been heavily involved in the project and have ensured that every ceiling tile has been put to good use – the companions are extremely grateful for the donation.” She added, “British Gypsum have been a patron of CRASH for a very long time; we are super glad to have them as a patron and they are always very willing to help all of our projects.” 

British Gypsum has worked with CRASH and Emmaus on a number of projects, and recently helped transform a former care home in South Lambeth into a safe, supportive home for 11 formerly homeless people. Read more here.