Two charities have teamed up to improve the lives of formerly homeless people and ex-offenders.

Emmaus provides 33 people with a safe home environment and the opportunity to work in St Albans.

Residents at Emmaus, also known as companions, collect donated furniture and other household items which they restore and resell in return for their accommodation and meals.

Over six months, a team of ex-offenders from the HACRO, a resettlement charity for those transitioning back into the community, have been working on the re-design of the dining area with the companions.

One of the team members at HARCO said: “I enjoy it as it has boosted my self-esteem and confidence. Emmaus has also helped me with my furniture for my flat which I would never have been able to afford myself.

“Both Emmaus and HACRO have been helping me set up my own pest control business.”

The re-design aims give the companions a nicer area to socialise and eat in as well as giving the ex-offenders a project to focus and work towards.

A companion at St Albans, said: “We have made really good relationships with the group and class them as our friends.

"They help us with all the little bits around the old building which then takes the pressure off the community projects.”