2017 has been a great year for FirstPort’s partnership with Emmaus, a charity that strives to create long term solutions to homelessness.

Some wonderful and truly challenging fundraising activities took place throughout the year including cream teas, sponsored leg waxing (by the men!), sky dives, 100 mile bike races, marathon runs, climbing Mount Snowdon, as well as handing out rucksacks with everyday items such as socks, gloves and soap to the homeless in preparation for the tough Winter months.

All of that hard work has seen colleagues, customers and residents collectively raise a fantastic £70,000 for the charity.

The money is going toward the creation of four new rooms in the Emmaus Hertfordshire community – the local community to the FirstPort Luton office - meaning four more people off the streets; four more people getting the chance to rebuild their lives and four more people getting their pride, self-worth and sense of belonging back. The accommodation will be an ongoing legacy to the fantastic work done by all.

With the charity partnership well engrained into the company’s culture, the Class of 2018 graduates, who joined the business’ graduate programme in September, visited Emmaus Hertfordshire to find out more about what the charity does and consider ways in which they can get involved. Inspired by Emmaus’ work and seeing first-hand what FirstPort’s support has achieved, they have vowed to take on a number of their own challenges including following in their predecessors’ footsteps going up Mount Snowden, taking part in a ‘tough mudder’ challenge and also generating Christmas stocking to make Emmaus residents smile during a traditionally tough and isolating time of year for them. Watch them speak about the impact Emmaus made on them here:

Activity will continue across the business for the rest of the year and beyond. With the year drawing to a close, and the hardest months for the homeless coming up, a team of intrepid FirstPorters is taking part in the St Albans Sleep-Out on Friday 1st December to raise awareness of homelessness in the region. Braving the cold to help a homeless person keep warm, participating in the sleep-out will make a difference to vulnerable people this winter.

If you wish to support this challenge, please do visit the partnership’s VirginGiving page.

So an amazing year for the charity collaboration. A big thank you to everyone who has supported this fantastic cause and truly made a difference to those who have fallen on hard times. We know the Emmaus-fever will continue as we strive to continue changing people’s lives for the better.