Old Vicarage, Emmaus UK, Coventry, Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles
The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles visits Emmaus UK, a homeless charity.THE Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to Coventry yesterday to see the work of a valuable homeless charity. The Duchess, who is a patron of Emmaus, a charity that helps homeless people across Coventry and Warwickshire, visited one of the charity's houses in Brinklow Road, Binley. The Old Vicarage houses 15 people who were previously homeless. They spoke to the Duchess about the work they do to keep the house running and gave her a tour of the garden, allotments and area for a new hen coop. Kieron Dunne, community leader at Emmaus, said: She said the gardening and growing of vegetables was a great way for people to become selfsustaining and grow in confidence. "Some people that come here have never had a garden before and the sense of achievement you get from growing something is great. "I always say that Emmaus is the best kept secret in England because there are a lot of people that haven't heard of us, but the Duchess has done a lot for this charity and helped to raise its profile."The Old Vicarage is set in an acre and a half of grounds, and reopened in February this year after a massive refurbishment.The Royal visitor was also shown around the bedrooms, kitchen and living area where there was a display of work done in the region as part of the charity's 60th anniversary.Joanne Budd, 36, moved to the vicarage earlier this year and works in the charity's shop in Red Lane, Foleshill."Emmaus has been fantastic fo me," she said."I used to manage pubs with my partner and when our relationship broke up because of violence, I be came homeless. I lived in a tent fo 15 months until I found out abou Emmaus and it has helped me so much. "We have been working and tidy ing a lot this week. None of u know what to expect with a roya visit and have no idea what to talk to her about, but it is exciting." Vicki Urch, general manager a the Old Vicarage, said the week leading up to the visit had been exciting. She said: "It is very important fo the companions here to meet ou patron, and chairman, Terry Waite, because it helps them un derstand that they are as impor tant as anybody else."There is a stigma for homeles people that they are overlooked or treated very badly so they need to see that they are as importan as anyone else in this society. It i really a feather in our cap." "
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