How the homeless are benefitting from an oil rig being dismantled in the North East

The former Brent Delta oil platform arriving in Hartlepool
The former Brent Delta oil platform arriving in Hartlepool

A home for the homeless in South Tyneside is being furnished with almost all mod cons due to the decommissioning of a giant oil rig on the North-East coast.

Emmaus North East has been given a job lot of 50 televisions and DVDs, and other goods - all salvaged from the 24,000-tonnne Brent Delta.

Emmaus manager John Harrison at the rig

Emmaus manager John Harrison at the rig

The rig is being dismantled in Hartlepool and its former onboard goods given away to deserving causes.

The items will liven up rooms at the charity’s £850,000 centre in Stanhope Road, South Shields, which opened last month (NOTE – Sept).

An Emmaus team was invited to take their pick by bosses at Able UK, the company responsible for taking the rig apart.

John Harrison, community manager with Emmaus North East, said: “It was a wonderful gesture of Able to give us the chance of collecting some of the items from the platform.

John Harrison with, from left, Emmaus North East
 deputy manager Rachel Eklund Green, chair Sue Wilson and, Anna Eddleston.

John Harrison with, from left, Emmaus North East deputy manager Rachel Eklund Green, chair Sue Wilson and, Anna Eddleston.

“We went down in our van and came away with everything from TVs, DVD players, kitchenware - and lots of Wellington boots.

“All the items are coming to South Tyneside, which is great news for us and the people we support.

“The vision of Emmaus is to give people who have been homeless the chance to rebuild their lives and support them education, training and work.

“Able’s support has helped us to add something extra to our great new facility in South Shields.”

Neil Jarvis, Able’s Shell Brent Project Director, said: “Emmaus is among a number of charities we have been able to help with donations from the Brent Delta.

“Other organisations have included Hartlepool Foodbank, North East Homeless and Old Park Farm Kennels as part of the Save our Strays (SOS) initiative.”

Emmaus provides accommodation and often life-changing support to people made homeless.

It works to help them recover self-confidence and learn new skills to enable them to move on to independent living and employment.

Its South Shields centre was officially opened by Terry Waite, the former Beirut hostage and president of the Emmaus Federation in the UK.

Nationally, around 750 people, known as companions, are supported by Emmaus which has a target to increase that to 1,000 by 2020.

The charity also operates a shop in Hebburn which sells furniture, books, fashion, and collectables, money from which supports its work.

The Brent Delta was towed from the Brent oil and gas field north of the Shetland Islands.

Engineers used the Allseas Pioneering Spirit, the largest construction vessel ever built, to carry out the sea-going work.

The rig arrived at Able’s specialist facility in Hartlepool in May, with full decommissioning expected to be completed by mid-2018.

For more information on Emmaus, go to www.emmaus.org.uk