Since the start of construction over 300 hungry construction operatives working on the Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) project have been fed from an on-site canteen. As the project gets nearer to completing Stages 1 and 2 of the development, the numbers are beginning to reduce and the Port decided to find a new home for the well-equipped kitchen.
With a relationship spanning several years the Port immediately thought of local homelessness charity Emmaus Dover. The charity, which is based at Archcliffe Fort, is one of 29 Emmaus communities across the UK supporting a total of 804 formerly homeless people known as companions. The Emmaus community in Dover provides a home and meaningful work for up to 27 companions who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion, offering them an alternative route out of homelessness within a supportive environment. Companions volunteer while they are at Emmaus selling second-hand furniture and household goods at its three charity shops in Dover, Ashford and Canterbury.
The opportunity to re-equip their kitchen, which feeds 40 people a day, with hard wearing, long lasting industrial equipment was gratefully received by all.
Dave Herrod, Programme Director DWDR said, “It was important due to the location of the site to ensure that that the construction operatives had access to well prepared, home cooked food for both breakfast and lunch. Once the need for a canteen facility was less pressing, we did not have to look far for a worthy benefactor and we really hope that the equipment has helped the residents of Emmaus with their food preparation.”
Debra Stevenson, Community Manager at Emmaus Dover said, “We are honoured to receive such high quality industrial catering equipment that will last the community for many years to come. Donations like this help us improve the facilities used by the companions daily as over 1,000 previously homeless companions have resided at Emmaus in the 24 years it has been open.