Norwich market stall to be transformed into home to encourage people to think about homeless

Emmaus representatives Steve Grinstead and Dawn Mortimer enjoy a brew

Emmaus representatives Steve Grinstead and Dawn Mortimer enjoy a brew - Credit: Martin Neeves

A market stall in Norwich is set to be transformed into a home in an attempt to get people thinking about the plight of homeless people in the UK.

Homeless charity Emmaus Norwich will set up a living room and bedroom on the Haymarket on Saturday. It will mark 60 years since the charity's founder, Abbe Pierre, took to the airwaves of Radio Luxembourg and appealed to the people of France to do something to help those sleeping rough on the streets of Paris.

His powerful request on behalf of 'the voiceless people' brought in donations of more than 500 million francs, as well as blankets, stoves, and other items that were collected all over the country.

This event in Paris in 1954, and the outpouring of support from the French public, became known as the 'uprising of kindness' and led to the formation of the international Emmaus movement. On Saturday, Emmaus Norwich will be one of hundreds of Emmaus communities across the globe calling for a similar 'uprising of kindness' to commemorate that moment.

The community will be using the event to ask people from across the city to commit to an act of kindness, helping those in greater need than themselves.

The event will also be used to draw attention to the imminent release of rough sleeping figures for 2013, which are expected to show another rise in homelessness.

The St Martin's Housing Trust Rough Sleeping Team reports that 68 people were verified as sleeping rough in the city in the 12 months to March 2013.

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The charity representatives, including formerly homeless residents, will be in the Haymarket from 10am to 4pm, with presentations and information about Emmaus around the world and other local charities.

To support them by making a pledge on the day, visit the Facebook page Emmaus-Norwich or on twitter #emmausnorwich.