Our Work

A harvest message from Ruth Shelton CEO

‘Bringing the Harvest Home’

TV news these days seems more than ever to be dominated by war, disease and famine- images of men, women and children in need of shelter, food and warmth.

Harvest for some of those developing countries is a very immediate event: if the harvest fails, or war prevents the growing and harvesting of crops, the communities will starve.

Our sense of connection and dependence on the land is less immediate – but it is there. For the 16,000 people in Nottinghamshire who are dependant on food banks that weekly parcel is essential if the family is to eat that week.

For the 80 -100 homeless and vulnerable citizens of Nottingham who come to Emmanuel House, the harvest of your generosity makes a real impact on their lives. Your harvest donations provide not only essential nutrition but also a sense of warmth and belonging . We can’t manage without your support and neither can they!

Letter and email have gone out to many of you listing our Top 10 Most Needed items – don’t hesitate to phone if you would like to know what these are (see photo)

Tinned beans, tomatoes, stewing beef and potatoes, instant coffee, hot chocolate, gravy powder, stock cubes, sugar and cooking oil.

It costs £4,000 per year for fuel and kitchen overheads to provide this service- if you would like to donate money rather than food please click on Justgiving.com/Cooking-on-Gas as an easy way to donate online of course ,you can donate cash or by cheques made payable to Emmanuel House

Thank you for all your support past and present – have a joyful harvest!


Our Mission.

Emmanuel House is a faith-based non-discriminatory organisation, embracing people of all faiths and none. We exist to support homeless and vulnerable people by providing acceptance, encouragement and daily support services.

We aim to treat all our visitors as unique individuals, and strive without prejudice to support people on their journey towards a more stable life.

We seek to enable individuals to make positive changes in their lifestyles.

The objectives are:

  • To maintain, manage and develop the services of Emmanuel House for the benefit of homeless, disadvantaged and vulnerable people so as to meet the needs of the whole person.
  • To offer a range of services to enable each individual to achieve their potential.
  • To encourage and support individuals through the provision of recreational, social, educational, and group activities.
  • To accept all people without distinction of age, physical appearance, disability, health, political belief, race, gender, sexuality or material and social status.

Our Services.


We provide hot, nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks at heavily subsidised prices and free to those with no income.


Available (free) for those who want one, as are towels and toiletries.


Free hair cutting available twice a week.


Available for a small charge.


There is a charity shop where clothing may be obtained at little or no charge.


Specialist nurses from the Homeless Health Team visit Emmanuel House twice a week, using the centre to deliver healthcare to those hardest to reach. We also liaise with local GPs on behalf of clients. There is a gym with a qualified instructor available to develop personalised training programs tailored to individuals’ health needs. For gentle exercise in the fresh air we run an Allotment Project supervised by a member of staff.


Emmanuel House gives specialist help and advice. This includes DWP, Housing Benefits, Appeals and Medical Assessments. A large part of Emmanuel House’s daily work is providing advocacy on behalf of clients.


A Tenancy Support Worker enables people to maintain their own tenancies and to live as independently as possible within the community.


Emmanuel House has a dedicated worker to navigate and guide clients through the complex process of gaining and establishing a home, and advises in all housing matters. Assistance is given with ‘Gateway’ referrals, social and private landlords.


For the last two years Emmanuel House has provided the management for the Winter Shelter, which provides emergency accommodation for rough sleepers during the winter months.


  • Teaching basic IT skills on an informal one-to-one basis
  • Help with letters to employers and CVs
  • Help with job searches
  • Applying for council housing
  • Access to the Internet


  • Social activities, especially in the evening, provide an alternative to alcohol and drugs for isolated people.
  • Allotment team
  • Bingo, Quiz and Movie Nights
  • Pool and Board Games
  • Table tennis
  • Arts activities
  • Gym

We draw on the skills and talents of our many volunteers to enrich the activity program e.g. poetry, drawing, music.

Making a difference to people’s lives.

We welcomed over 1,520 different individuals during 2010.

There have been 22,000 visits in the past year.

35 people have been given individual tenancy support, during 2010/2011.

An average of 80 hot meals is served each day, as well as hot snacks and drinks.

Here are some Case Studies of our Service Users

‘Dominic’ has special needs and rented from a Registered Social Landlord until earlier this year. However he was being beaten up and robbed regularly by local youths exploiting his vulnerability.

Emmanuel House staff liaised with his patch manager to help him move out of the area.

Staff encouraged Dominic to report the attacks to the police. This was a giant step forward because Dominic had always lived in fear of reprisals.

We then helped Dominic to contact Housing Aid.

We supported Dominic to attend his appointmnets helping him secure first temporary accommodation in a hostel, then in a supported accommodation unit specialising in high support needs.

Dominic continues to receive support from Emmanuel House on a daily basis, developing his life skills, physical and mental health. This is greatly assisted by the new gym facility which is building up both muscle and confidence!

More Case studies

Role in the City.

Nottingham is a prosperous, upwardly mobile 21st century city, which has responded to the global economy and its challenges by building on its strengths and firmly establishing itself as the regional capital.

Like every major city, Nottingham has a concern for socially excluded people as they struggle in a society from which they are completely marginalized. This may be due to extreme poverty, mental health issues and learning difficulties, breakdown of families, and lack of education and work opportunities. These people, often homeless and victims of violence, are city centre residents alongside the students and the professionals.


Emmanuel House is now the only full-time day centre in the city and has an important part to play in Nottingham’s aims to tackle homelessness and deliver a range of services to its most marginalized people.

For them, Emmanuel House provides a point of everyday contact with vulnerable people, with almost 1,520 different people helped in 2010. the Centre is open seven days a week for all over the age of 18. The organisation is a Limited Company and a registered charity and is governed by a Board of Management with a range of representation from industry, statutory agencies and the Church.

A range of services is provided by the dedicated staff team as well as a base for a number of partner services. These include:

  • Nursing services
  • Mental Health Support Team (HLG)
  • Resettlement advice
  • Community Health Services
  • Preventative support and advice
  • Employment and training advice
  • Tenancy support
  • Benefits advice
  • A base for street outreach teams

The Centre creates a sense of belonging and involvement that gives visitors an experience of community. From this base of support our service users can be empowered to find solutions to their own problems and move on to a settled way of life.

Articles & Research

Research has shown that Day centres provide a valuable range of services for some of the most excluded members of society. Day centres are:

  • Places of sustainment and acceptance. They are valued by users as places where those who are often excluded from most other services can have their basic needs met in an environment of acceptance.
  • Places of challenge and rehabilitation. Day centres provide gateways to an holistic range of support services under a single roof that enable life issues to be addressed at service users’ own pace. Staff stress this role, especially its success in securing not only accommodation, but also a more lasting resettlement for people even after they have been housed.
  • Places of resource and empowerment. Day centres offer precious opportunities for the restoration of self-esteem among homeless people by providing avenues of re-entry into mainstream society through skill development, volunteering and employability.

Day centres occupy a unique place in the landscape of homelessness services, which would be incomplete without them, rendering other services less than effective, especially those that rely on day centres as a single means of access to a highly marginalised population.

Day centres do much more than sustain rough sleepers and other vulnerable groups. Most importantly, it is because they serve as a trusted, accessible and relatively undemanding source of basic support that they create an atmosphere in which routes to resettlement become possible for those who might never otherwise engage with formal services.

You can download the full report here: Day Centres and multiple exclusion homelessness Graham Bowpitt and Peter Dwyer, University of Salford


Click here to View the September 2012 Newsletter