After the opening of Optimum Skills Construction Academy in Darlington, we have accumulated quite a few pairs of boots which are free to learners on the construction course. Rather than these boots going to waste, we have donated the boots to charities around the North East, one of these being Emmaus North East.
Emmaus North East are a charity which provide a home and meaningful work for up to 15 companions (formerly homeless people). The home is based in South Shields and provides the companions with their own room, a shared kitchen, living space, and garden, within the house there is a real sense of community as the companions support each other in cooking and cleaning. Emmaus has shops in both Low Fell and Hebburn, which the companions work in Monday to Saturday, 9 till 5.
Some of the companions have been funded to do their driving lessons and go through their test, giving them a chance to better their lives. Some companions have been given the opportunity to take up boxing, through funding provided, giving them goals and focus. Once a companion is ready to leave, they can do so, but they can stay in residence for as long as they need.
The boots will be used by the companions within the workshop. They will also use them as solidarity and give them to those who may need work boots on commencement of employment.