A man who found himself homeless for several years after battling an alcohol addiction is getting behind a recycling campaign launched by the charity which helped turn his life around.
Phil Caizley found himself without a place to call his own until he was finally helped by Emmaus North East which has a branch in South Shields.
We hope that by offering a free collection service more people will be encouraged to think about donating their unwanted items to charity instead of sending them straight to the tip.John Harrison
He was given the chance to undergo an 11-month programme at a rehabilitation unit to help him overcome his addiction to alcohol and help him back on his feet.
However, following completion of the programme, he didn’t feel ready to re-join society, and was given the chance to instead join the charity which helped him.
He now supports its recycling project which collects unwanted household items, in good condition, for free. The items are then sold in Emmaus shops in Hebburn and Low Fell.
The move has helped save over 20 tonnes of furniture, including wardrobes, beds and three-piece suites from ending up in the rubbish tip. With National Recycle Week taking place next week from Monday September 24 - 30, he is encouraging South Tyneside residents to think about the charity the next time they are having a clear out of household items in order to help more vulnerable people change their lives for the better.
Praising the charity for their help, Phil said: “Emmaus genuinely does feel like a home. The biggest opportunity it gives us is a window - the chance to sit back, take a breath and think of exactly where I am and where I want to go.
“I spent quite a lot of time alone when I was drinking and a lot of my social skills fell away. They take quite a bit of work to get back, but by engaging with customers and having the support of the Emmaus team, I am definitely getting those skills back.”
Emmaus North East, helps 15 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion to rebuild their lives by providing a home, support and meaningful work for as long as the individual needs.
Emmaus North East lead staff member John Harrison, said: “Recycling isn’t just about separating out your weekly rubbish collections; many different materials can be saved from landfill and put to good use. We hope that by offering a free collection service more people will be encouraged to think about donating their unwanted items to charity instead of sending them straight to the tip. Every donation to Emmaus helps us to change the lives of people who have been homeless and are trying to get back on their feet.”
To book a free collection for unwanted furniture or a house clearance, call 0191 487 8825, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.emmaus.org.uk/northeast.