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The more established of the two projects, the Goodwill co-op, is the brain child of Joel Lewis, Business Manager at EBH. It was set up in October 2008 in order to further reduce waste destined for landfill, whilst helping to connect and support the more isolated members of the wider community around the city.


The scheme is run by a secular organisation called Emmaus, which creates communities by providing a place for previously homeless individuals to live and work. Members of these communities, known as ‘companions’, work full time collecting, renovating and reselling donated furniture, with all the proceeds going into a pool from which each person receives board, clothing and weekly spending money, plus a sum set aside as savings. The work not only allows the community to become self-sustaining but also enables the companions to develop useful skills, rebuild their self-respect and help others in greater need.


Some communities have taken things a step further; Emmaus Brighton & Hove (EBH), which is the largest Emmaus community in the UK, has two pioneering projects running:


Members of the Goodwill co-op have access to EBH’s supply shop, which is a veritable treasure trove of fabrics, buttons, wool, retro clothing patterns and other crafts


Winter 2010 | ukhandmade | 35


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