DCSIMG

Roof collapse shuts charity shop and cafe

Damage: The cafe and shop in Friargate, which has had to close because of roof problems. Emmaus has transferred staff and stock to its shop in Deepdale

Damage: The cafe and shop in Friargate, which has had to close because of roof problems. Emmaus has transferred staff and stock to its shop in Deepdale

A charity has been forced to close its city centre cafe and furniture shop after being hit by recent bad weather.

Staff at Emmaus said roof problems had been getting worse in the rented property at 49-50 Friargate for 12 months, then two weeks ago, a deluge of rain caused ceiling tiles to collapse.

Tracy Hopkins, chief executive of Emmaus Preston, said: “Heather, who manages the shop went in on the Saturday morning and found the tiles collapsed, and we think the floor has been affected too.

“We’ve had to go send staff in there wearing hard hats to remove the stock.”

She added: “Everyone’s so, so upset about it, because that’s our flagship shop, and it looks likely that we won’t be able to reopen. It’s a lovely building and we loved being there.

“We had a cafe too and we’ve just had to send the coffee machine back because that was leased.”

Emmaus is a homelessness charity that provides a home for as long as someone needs it as well as work to restore donated furniture, which is then sold to the public.

Tracy added: “We want the public to know that we have another shop in Deepdale Mill Street, off Ribbleton Lane, that is actually much bigger, and has a lot of furniture and some clothes.

“People can continue to donate and shop in exactly the same way.”

Staff from the Friargate shop, many of them ex-homeless people who have been helped by Emmaus, have been transferred to Deepdale.

The Friargate shop was one of 20 in the UK. It was opened in March 2012 by humanitarian and author Terry Waite.

 

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