Emmaus Suffolk: Supporting vulnerable people in Ipswich

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Emmaus Suffolk have recieved a donation which is helping vulnerable people rebuild their lives.

Emmaus Suffolk are a charity who work with vulnerable and socially isolated people. Through peer support, education and training, they help people at risk of homelessness find new skills and rebuild their lives.  

With a grant of £4,000 from our Community Cares Fund, they’ve been able to set up a free fortnightly cooking club. By learning how to create a healthy, affordable meals together, they help vulnerable people to rediscover their confidence and make new connections with others who understand.  

Amy Wragg, Fundraising Manager for Emmaus Suffolk tells us more about the difference this has made:  

‘At Emmaus Suffolk, the focus is to help people get back on their feet and regain their independence. Cooking together is a great way to help people do this. Discovering you can do something new really boosts our participants’ self-esteem; it’s the key to helping them regain control in their lives.  

Each session is led by our experienced chef, who shows the participants how to create a simple, affordable, nutritious meal. One week it may be a simple bolognaise, the next week a curry.   

The best part of it all is to see the journey our participants go through. Some people come along feeling unsure at first, maybe even scared of cooking or ‘getting it wrong’ but, as the weeks go on, we see their confidence and skills grow - it’s incredible. And all the while, they’re talking, making new friends and developing strong friendships.   

This is so much more than a cooking club; it’s a lifeline for people who may not have any other support networks in their lives. It may help them find a new career or even a new friend who knows what they’re going through; either way, it helps them look towards the future with hope.’  

Colton Bridgeman, Community Café Manager, who runs the Cooking Club says:

‘Cooking Club is a fun and friendly event, held in a safe space, that is fast becoming one of our most popular groups. It’s a real joy to run, and we all work together choosing which recipes get cooked in future. Participants love making a meal, and then the satisfaction of taking it home to eat for dinner that night is huge.’

Thank you to all our members and customers who’ve made this life-changing work possible.

Read more about the impact of our Community Cares Fund or how you can support it here.