Homelessness charity Emmaus Cornwall is appealing for volunteers to help at its tree nursery in Trewoon, near St Austell, to mark Volunteers’ Week (June 1 to 7).

Overlooking Carlyon Bay, Emmaus Community Trees launched in autumn 2022 as the charity’s first social enterprise. Over the past year, the nursery has grown approximately 100,000 trees for sale with the help of a volunteer team.

All proceeds go towards the charity’s aim to open a residential community for homeless people, which will provide accommodation, work opportunities, tailored support and training.

Emmaus Cornwall is urgently seeking new volunteers for one-off sessions or a regular commitment. Tasks change throughout the year depending on the season, but usually include looking after young trees and plants, gardening, planting, weeding and preparing orders for sale.

From August to November, the charity will also need volunteers to help collect tree seeds from the local area. 

No previous experience in tree care or gardening is required, as Emmaus Cornwall will provide all necessary training.

Emmaus Cornwall trustee Rod Richardson said: “We are in desperate need of new volunteers to help keep our tree nursery running smoothly. We’re looking for individuals or groups interested in supporting a worthwhile cause and getting hands-on experience.

“It’s a great opportunity for anyone who would like to meet new people, spend time outdoors and learn all about trees and plants.”

He added: “Homelessness in Cornwall has increased over the last few years and our accommodation offer is needed now more than ever. Every volunteer that helps at our tree nursery will be contributing to our goal of opening accommodation in Cornwall.”

There are already 30 established Emmaus communities supporting more than 850 formerly homeless people around the UK. There are also three Emmaus groups, including in Cornwall, all working towards setting up a community in their area. 

The Emmaus model provides meaningful work opportunities for the people it supports, and generates the funding needed to maintain its communities.

To volunteer at Emmaus Community Trees, contact [email protected]

For further information about the work of Emmaus in Cornwall, visit www.emmaus.org.uk/cornwall