A Bridgend charity supporting people who have experienced homelessness has been awarded a £91,300 boost from a Comic Relief grant.

Emmaus South Wales has received the funding as part of the second round of Homeless Link’s COVID-19 Homelessness Response Fund, to help cover the charity’s costs for the next six months.

The aim of the fund is to provide financial relief to small and medium sized homelessness organisations to ensure they can stay open and survive the crisis caused by the ongoing pandemic. Of this funding pot, £4.8 million has been provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and a further £680,000 is from Comic Relief.

Jemma Wray, Chief Executive at Emmaus South Wales, said:

“We are delighted that Emmaus South Wales has been awarded this funding which will support our ongoing work to provide a home and daily support to people while they rebuild their lives following homelessness and social exclusion.”

“Our business model means as a charity we are normally self-sufficient, but during lockdown we have not received the level of income which enables us to cover our accommodation, food and support costs.

“This award means we are able to continue to provide emotional and practical help to the people we support, giving them the opportunity to gain new skills and move on when they are ready. We are extremely grateful to Comic Relief and Homeless Link.”

A total of £5.5 million was available in the second round of grants from the COVID-19 Homelessness Response Fund. The first round of funding consisted of £6 million provided by The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which was shared among 133 homelessness charities on 7 June.

Emmaus has four shops in Bridgend, Maesteg and Porthcawl, all of which were closed for several months earlier this year. The charity has since taken the necessary measures to reopen its Bridgend Superstore and high street shop on Caroline Street, ensuring they are both COVID secure. The Maesteg and Porthcawl shops currently remain closed while the charity operates at a reduced capacity.

To find out more about Emmaus South Wales, visit www.emmaus.org.uk/south-wales or visit the charity’s Bridgend Superstore on Tremains Road or its high street shop on Caroline Street Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 4pm.

To find out more about the COVID-19 Homelessness Response Fund, visit www.homeless.org.uk/covid-19-homelessness-response-fund