Emmaus Design Project in the Workshop

3 December 2015

Modern Art Oxford, Love Your Plane and Emmaus Oxford are working on a new project in which volunteers from Oxford-based charity Emmaus will produce a customer service counter for their new superstore in Barns Road, Cowley. Working with Love Your Plane in Modern Art Oxford’s workshop, this ongoing project is due to be completed in early 2016.

More on Emmaus:

Emmaus Oxford is a charity providing a home and meaningful work for 28 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.

The companions, as Emmaus residents are known, work full-time in its social enterprise – two second-hand shops in Oxford – renovating and re-selling donated furniture, up-cycling salvaged materials into things like garden benches and planters, and gaining retail and customer service skills.

Emmaus Oxford saves around 500 tonnes of furniture per year from local landfill sites through recycling and that figure could rise when it moves early next year to new purpose-built premises currently under construction in Barns Road, Cowley. The up-cycled customer desk fashioned from materials salvaged by Emmaus and created by Josh Rose in conjunction with Modern Arts Oxford will be a focal point in the new store. Designed by TV presenter Kevin McCloud, the store will have a better retail area and significantly more backroom space for processing, repairs and renovation work than the old store in Westlands Drive.

The Emmaus shops generate funds that support the community, while the work done by the companions helps to restore feelings of self-esteem and offers the opportunity to regain control of their lives. Emmaus is about providing a chance for each individual to work to overcome homelessness. This approach has been proven to produce long-term, sustainable results and, for many who have been stuck in a cycle of homelessness, brings the support they need to overcome this. Companions may remain at the Emmaus community for as long as they need it.

The Emmaus movement started in France in the 1940s. Since then it has grown into an international movement with more than 300 groups based in 36 countries across the world. There are currently 25 Emmaus communities spread across the UK, housing more than 600 formerly homeless people.

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More on Love Your Plane:

Love Your Plane is a studio based project which explores the active role of artists as makers. They believe in combining good design, craftwork and artistic inspiration as symbolised by the woodworkers tool in their name.

As a collective of Oxford based artists and designers, Love Your Plane aim to bring a new and refreshing approach to some of the objects and materials that make up their surroundings.

They collaborate with other artists, craftspeople and designers and make a range of products including artwork and furniture. They specialise in wood work fabrication and print, from small batch production to one off pieces. They also enjoy working along side community groups to develop artistic/design projects.

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