Search

Shoppers flood in as Emmaus social enterprise opens in Chrisp St Market

PUBLISHED: 19:57 01 October 2014 | UPDATED: 19:57 01 October 2014

Volunteer ready to serve first customer

Volunteer ready to serve first customer

Emmaus

A new social enterprise launched in London’s deprived East End has been swamped with shoppers queuing to get through the doors.

Recycling old furniture at the social enterprise shopRecycling old furniture at the social enterprise shop

The Emmaus shop in Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market made £500 in its first two hours of trading at the weekend.

Goods ranging from books and recycled furniture to new end-of-range and second-hand donated clothing were snapped up.

“There’s nothing like this shop in the area,” said volunteer Ian Darby, who also works for Poplar Harca social landlords nearby. “It was an amazing buzz outside, like people queuing for Harrod’s or something.”

An apprenticeship scheme at the shop offers retail and customer service experience, while a workshop teaches beginners how to recycle donated furniture and clothing.

Sorting clothes at Emmaus social enterpriseSorting clothes at Emmaus social enterprise

Project director Mark O’Brien said: “Sometimes the furniture we get donated is a little battered or has seen better days.

“We intend holding regular workshops and involve anyone who would like to learn new skills and exercise their creativity.”

A basement area also offers other charities and groups the chance to hold workshops.

The shop already has a team of volunteers, like Zubeda Yeasmin, 24, long-time unemployed who was referred to Emmaus by her local Jobcentre.

She said: “I never considered retail before because I’m not sure about the world of commerce.

“But this feels different. I have ideas to develop areas of the shop, like adding a maternity clothes section.”

Mother-of-two and college student Esther Aggrekum, 28, finds time to volunteer despite her busy life.

She revealed: “I’m a health and social care student and love working here, helping my community and people who have been homeless.”

June Walker, 50, has just come through a battle with breast cancer, and cares for her elderly father.

She said: “I’ve done every job under the sun in my time, from dinner lady to check-out girl. It’s a real pleasure to give something back to the community.”

The shop at 175 East India Dock Road is just the first in a series of social enterprises planned across East London by Emmaus. It is now appealing for online donations on the Emmaus website or the Just Giving website.

Latest East London News Stories

12:41

Applications have opened for free training in film and TV production for people in east London who are unemployed or on low pay.

11:53

People living in Tower Hamlets have the second highest levels of problem debt in the country, a survey has revealed.

09:08

“Another day, another dollar,” says a man in a blue and grey jacket as we arrive at the world’s biggest arms fair.

Detectives investigating the murder of Marvin Couson - who died 13 years after he was shot in Shoreditch - believe he might have been an innocent victim in a dispute between rival criminal gangs from London and Birmingham.

If you haven’t entered the Thames Gateway Business Awards yet, you’re in luck - the deadline for two categories has been extended.

Detectives investigating the sexual assault of a teenage girl in Bethnal Green have released CCTV footage in a bid to trace a man they suspect of attacking her.

Yesterday, 17:04

The Duke of Cambridge quizzed recovering addicts about their thoughts on legalising drugs during a visit to a Shoreditch recovery charity today.

Yesterday, 16:09

The first “community hub” in London’s East End has been opened in Whitechapel by Tower Hamlets Council offering voluntary groups low-cost space.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now