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Join St Albans homeless charity on their sofa in city market
3:00pm Thursday 23rd January 2014 in News
A St Albans homeless charity will set up a living room in the city market to celebrate 60 years of its “Uprising for Kindness”.
Emmaus based in Hill End Lane is invited residents to join them for a chat on their sofa to mark sixty years since the Emmaus founder, Abbé Pierre, took to the airwaves of Radio Luxembourg and called upon the people of France to do something to help those sleeping rough on the streets of Paris.
The event in 1954 and the outpouring of support from the French public which raised 500 million francs, became known as the “Uprising of Kindness” and led to the formation of the international Emmaus movement.
In 1992, Emmaus reached England, setting up initially in Cambridge, with the St Albans community following in 2002. There are now 24 communities throughout the UK who not only provide homes, work and support for the homeless, but also do further solidarity work within the local area.
Emmaus St Albans is now calling for a similar “uprising of kindness” to commemorate that moment on February 1.
Companion Geoff Newman said: “Six decades ago Abbé Pierre looked around him and saw people sleeping outside, people without a voice, who needed him to speak out on their behalf. Emmaus is still doing that today.
“Four months ago I was one of those people, but Emmaus has not just given me somewhere to live and work, but also given me the opportunity to provide help in the local area to those who are in a similar situation to the one I found myself in.
"We are asking people for support, both for the Emmaus movement, and for the other charities helping those who are socially disadvantaged. Even if people just take a few minutes to join us on our sofa, to find out a bit more about what we do, that would be great.”
Staff member Jenny Hewson added: “Our staff, trustees and companions, our formerly homeless residents, will be at St Albans market from 9am to 4pm with presentation and information about Emmaus around the world and other local charities. You can also support us by making a pledge on the day.”
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