Duchess has a "positive feeling" about East Sussex charity

The Argus: Picture: Steve Hunnisett/Hastings Observer Picture: Steve Hunnisett/Hastings Observer

The Duchess of Cornwall has paid a pre-Christmas visit to a homeless’ charity to see how people are rebuilding their lives.

Camilla met the residents of Emmaus Hastings and Rother and remarked about the “positive feeling” she drew from the charity’s work.

Emmaus UK supports former homeless people by giving them a
place to live in one of its communities, and a chance to work in one of its
social enterprises.

Camilla has been a patron of Emmaus UK since 2006, and in May this year she joined three of its residents to learn more about its origins in France.

One of those who accompanied her on the trip to Paris was Mary Rigg,
who has lived at Emmaus for several years since finding herself homeless
following a relationship breakdown.

Camilla greeted Ms Rigg with a warm smile before being led by her on a tour of the facility, which provides shelter and work for 15 people who
have been homeless.

Afterwards, Ms Rigg, 60, said: “It was a real honour to meet her again,
not just for me, but for Hastings.

“She said it was nice to meet me, and that the weather was a bit different
than in Paris.”

As Camilla toured the premises, she stopped to admire sleeping sixweek-
old Rowena Grant as she was being cradled in the arms of her mother, Elizabeth Grant.

Ms Grant, 29, said: “It was exciting to meet her. We really like Emmaus
very much and everything they do.”

Residents, known as companions, live on site in purpose-built housing
and work in the charity’s social enterprise – a shop selling second-hand furniture and other donated items, and a recently opened cafe.

During the visit, Camilla officially opened an accommodation block, named Charlie Jordan House, after the first chairman of Emmaus Hastings and Rother who died in 2009.

After unveiling a plaque, Camilla told the gathering of staff, residents
and dignitaries: “Every time I come to Emmaus, I get the same positive feeling about life and that’s the point about Emmaus.”

David Cooper, chairman of Emmaus Hastings and Rother, said: “We will be eternally grateful for what Charlie did, and it seems fitting that the building should be named after him as a permanent reminder of this.

"Having the Duchess of Cornwall here to support this is an honour, and a great tribute to Charlie.”



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