A local charity has launched a community launderette in South Tyneside to help people with the rising cost of living.
Emmaus North East provides a home and meaningful work to 22 formerly homeless people who work alongside local volunteers at the Emmaus charity shops in Hebburn, South Shields and Low Fell.
Since signing the South Tyneside Pledge earlier this year, the charity has launched Lucie’s Laundry, on Dean Road, South Shields
Multinational consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble, donated six washing machines to the project and the building is being provided free of charge by Riverside Housing, one of the leading registered providers of social housing in the UK.
Lucie’s Laundry will be run by staff and those being supported by Emmaus North East, and there are plans to use the space to also provide a warm bank for anyone who needs to use it, with free access to hot drinks and a computer.
A key element of the Emmaus North East’s work is giving those they support the chance to help others who are also in need. The charity says participating in community projects is often key to helping rebuild self-esteem, for someone who has experienced homelessness.
Ruth Parker, Chief Executive of Emmaus North East said:
“Emmaus North East is delighted to be working with Riverside Housing and Procter and Gamble to open Lucie’s Laundry.
“We have recognised the need for warm spaces to be created due to the cost-of-living crisis and have listened to the community around us. People will be able to book appointments to clean and dry their laundry free of charge and also join us for a hot drink whilst they are there.
“We are hoping this makes a real difference to the people in South Tyneside and demonstrates Emmaus North East’s commitment to solidarity and making a difference in the local area.”
Cllr Margaret Meling, Lead Member for Economic Growth, Skills and Climate Change, said:
“This is a fantastic project and really sums up the spirit of the Pledge.
“It is about local people supporting one another, contributing to their community and giving something back.
“I think this facility will be really valued by those who use it.”
Organisations, public and private, big businesses and small firms, can sign up at any time and become part of the Pledge South Tyneside network at www.investsouthtyneside.com/south-tyneside-pledge/
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