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Innovation through reclamation

Innovation through reclamation

If you’re looking for a cost effective way of giving your home a makeover while supporting a good cause and minimising your impact on the environment, why not try upcycling?

Many charities up and down the country offer second-hand furniture which you can breathe new life into but if you don’t have the vision to do the work yourself, check out your local Emmaus for lovingly restored furniture.

The Hull and East Riding branch has shops on Newland Avenue, Hessle Road and Whitefriargate, as well as a superstore at The Orchard, a supported housing scheme for homeless people developed by Together Housing Group in partnership with Hull City Council and Emmaus. You can also buy goods online.

Rob Fawcett, founder of interior design and upcycle company Raw Home, helped set up the Emmaus Emporium on Whitefriargate and runs regular workshops with The Orchard’s residents, known as companions.

He said: “I have a passion for all things home related and that includes people. A home is nothing if there isn’t someone there to enjoy it. That is why my work with Emmaus is really valuable as I feel that I am playing a part in the progression of companions back into independent living in a place they can hopefully call home.

“I hate the thought of useful items being thrown away and upcycling presents an opportunity to unleash some creative flair.

“Our ethos is built around sustainability, nature and education. We believe that high levels of innovative design can be found through humble waste products that need to be re-imagined for a new generation.”

Rob became involved in Emmaus after a chance encounter with a member of staff and quickly realised that the charity’s values echoed those of his own company.

He added: “I love everything about the work I do with the companions and feel like I have built some great friendships. The best thing about working with the companions is seeing them regain some belief and confidence in themselves and their ability. We all have strengths and weaknesses but in times of hardship it can be too easy to think about the things we aren’t so good at rather than what we are good at.

“There have been several instances where companions have approached the workshops apprehensively but gone on to create really impressive and interesting upcycled pieces.

Many of these have then been sold in the store further generating income for Emmaus. This provides a sense of achievement for the companions as they have taken something considered redundant and turned it into a saleable item that someone else sees value in.

“I am honoured to be able to contribute something towards such a fantastic group of people who will no doubt complete their journeys with Emmaus and move onto the next chapter of their lives in a place they can call home.”

If you would also like to help homeless people on the next step of their journey, while snapping up a unique piece of furniture at a bargain price, visit

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