Charity’s new home hopes for 2017 after series of delays

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A homelessness charity is hoping the new year will see it officially open its doors in South Tyneside after a series of delays and funding shortfalls.

Emmaus North East bought the former derelict children’s home on Stanhope Road, South Shields, with the aim of residents - known as companions - living there and working together in a workshop during the day.

The home was set to open in the autumn but has been hit with technical problems and it is now hoped it will be finished later this month.

Sue Wilson, the charity’s charwoman, said: “We have been making good progress with the build in spite of many technical problems to overcome which has pushed the cost up somewhat. It has also slowed us down as we are still short of some funding to finish.

“It is still hoped that we will finish in January and have our first four companions join us in February. Our community manager is already living in the building as the bedrooms are completed. It is just the community space and extension we need to finish.”

In a bid to help with costs Emmaus is asking companies to sponsor a room for £2,000 - which will be named after them.

Charity bosses also want to create training kitchen so companions can be offered accredited catering training.

Sue added: “We are looking forward to opening in 2017 and will be inviting all our friends and supporters to a launch event in the spring. “We can’t thank South Shields people enough for their generosity and support and their desire to help less fortunate people turn their lives around.”

For more information on sponsorships email sian.thomas@emmaus-northeast.org.uk.