The FirstPort 2018 Graduates delivered 36 Christmas sacks full of gifts to their local community, Emmaus Hertfordshire, for their companions, just in time for a festive treat. In addition, members of the FirstPort Halesowen also joined in the giving spirit, delivering 29 gift stockings to their local community, Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire.

Although, thanks to Emmaus, the companions now have a stable home, Christmas can still be a difficult time for them, as many may have lost touch with family and friends.

Graduate and Charity Champion, Spencer Park, said:
“To start with we were going into local shops to ask for donations. We got loads of chocolates, for example, from the Co-Op. But we weren’t getting the success we needed. So we turned to FirstPort colleagues – with a donations bin onsite and set up a web page for online donations. Also our customer service colleagues ran a cake sale for us. We got money – several hundred pounds – from this, but we also received toiletries, books, DVDs, and a lot of sweets!”

FirstPort Graduates and Emmaus Hertfordshire
FirstPort Graduates and Emmaus Hertfordshire pictured together before the Christmas stocking delivery. 

Tony Ferrier, Community Director Emmaus Hertfordshire, said:
“What a great surprise to receive Christmas ‘stockings’ from our partners FirstPort! Many of our companions are staying with us this Christmas and will be away from family and friends, at what can be a very lonely time; it is great to be able to offer them a treat on Christmas morning and for them to know that they are being thought about.”

Steve Howarth, FirstPort Retirement Property Services Customer Services Manager, said:
“My team felt that we should be doing something charitable for Christmas and we know that the Graduates, based at our Luton office, are asked to do this every year. Emmaus is great cause that really makes a difference – and we wanted to be a part of FirstPort’s efforts to help.

“Staff across the office contributed generously. This really galvanised our team spirit!”

FirstPort Halesowen and Emmaus Stockings
FirstPort employees from the Halesowen office and Emmaus employees join together to deliver stockings to their local community. 

Emmaus provide formerly homeless people with a safe home environment and the opportunity to engage in meaningful work. As Emmaus’s corporate partner, FirstPort has raised over £70,000 for the charity in 2017 through the efforts of staff, customers and partners across the UK. This has funded four new rooms in the Emmaus Hertfordshire community, that’s four more people off the streets and on the road to rebuilding their lives.

If you would like to find out more about FirstPort’s partnership with Emmaus, click here