Every Essex Freemason has contributed one way or another to the Covid-19 Project of the United Grand Lodge of England and the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Phase 2 began this December with over £840,000 released to target homelessness and rough sleeping.
Fifteen individual Emmaus organisations are among the 39 Charities to have received grants. Although each Emmaus unit is allowed to operate in varying ways according to local needs the concept is similar. A Community ‘programme’ is established to provide accommodation and a reason to get out of bed each day. Those in the programme are called ‘Companions’.
'Companions’ of Emmaus are given emotional and practical support to help them provide an income of their own by working in the Emmaus shops to build up their self-esteem. It is a Community giving much needed support to their ‘Companions’, all of whom are 18 years or older and who typically stay for nine months to one year in the programme.
The support of Freemasonry means a lot to Emmaus in what has been a devasting year since the first lockdown. This support is also special to all Holy Royal Arch Masons as it is a unique example of ‘Companions helping Companions’.