Charity opening ‘Funky’ new store

A charity with roots that can be traced back to a renegade Parisian priest and member of parliament is to establish a new store that is described as ‘funky, and contemporary’ here at Castle Quarter.

The new 8,180 sq ft store in Castle Quarter is designed with an ‘urban chic’ look, with all the shopfitting created from recycled materials. It will stock a wide range of items from furniture and white goods to clothes and food. Everything in the store will be high quality, refurbished or recycled.

Cecile Roberts, director of Emmaus is looking forward to establishing a presence in the city. She said: ”We have been looking for a location in the heart of Norwich for a little while and, when we found the unit at Castle Quarter, it was an obvious choice for us with plenty of space to create the kind of store we want, and loads of storage, which is important for us.

“This won’t look like an ordinary charity shop. The store will be a great place to shop with a funky and trendy look and feel to it. Everything we sell is of great quality.Donated items come from far and wide – we even get items from Harrods. Because items are refurbished to a high standard and recycled, the prices are very affordable. The store will feature a gallery too”

Emmaus was started in France after the second world war by renegade priest and icon, Father Henri-Antoine Grouès, better known as Abbé Pierre. He was an MP, Catholic priest and former member of the French Resistance who fought to provide homes for the 70,000 homeless people who lived on the streets of Paris at the time.

Emmaus today is a secular organisation. At the heart of its work is the creation and maintenance of a holistic community of people who have suffered homelessness at some time in their lives, providing not just support but a home, a job and an income. The social enterprise has 450 communities across the world, including 29 communities in the UK, with one in Ditchingham, which house 32 people, and shops in Ditchingham and Bungay.

Cecile Roberts continued: “Our outlets are staffed by former homeless people who work a 40 hour week and live in furnished accommodation provided by Emmaus. They receive training, meals and the support of the global Emmaus community. The charity has a social, environmental and financial impact, for instance in diverting 1500 tonnes per year away from landfill in the UK through recycling, and saving the taxpayer an immense amount by creating stable employment for homeless people.”

Robert Bradley, centre manager at Castle Quarter, said: “We look forward to Emmaus opening in Castle Quarter. The charity does amazing work for deserving people and we delighted to be providing them with a high profile outlet in heart of Norwich.”

Emmaus at Castle Quarter will open to the public on 25 th September.

For more information on Emmaus, go to or follow the charity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Castle Quarter’s website is at