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Emmaus Bristol provides a home for as long as it's needed, work experience and support to people who have been homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Locations we operate in

Backfields House - 0117 954 0886

Upper York Street, Bristol, BS2 8WF

Services we Provide


Our aim is to go beyond the idea of simply providing food and board for those that are affected by homelessness. We do not just offer a bed for the night, we offer a home for as long as someone needs it and rewarding work within our social enterprises.

Our ‘Companions’, the name we give to the individuals who come and work alongside us, become part of a community and make a contribution to it, playing a crucial role in building self-esteem and allowing themselves and others to find a way to overcome homelessness in the long term.

We will:
•give you the chance to improve your quality of life

Each Companion makes their room homely

•encourage and support you in tackling issues such as: ⣣addiction
⣣finding a job and a home
⣣mending relationships
⣣further education
⣣achieving better health

•encourage you to help others through our programme of “solidarity” (see below)


The Emmaus ethos is to help others who are worse off. We call this Solidarity and it has ma.

What we do

Referrals must be drug and alcohol free.


Companions (residents) live at Shaftesbury House.  Each one has his/her own bedroom with an en suite shower room and they have their meals together.


Companions receive accommodation, food and hygiene items, as well as an allowance of £42. They also agree to work a 5-day week as their commitment to the Community. £6 of their allowance is put aside for them each week as savings.   Companions are granted holidays according to how long they have been in the Community.

Companions are encouraged to use whatever skills they have to further the success of the business.  We have Companion drivers, PAT-testers etc.  They are also encouraged to better themselves by training in various ways (NVQs, etc).  see Companions


The Support Team will help Companions in any way they wish, be it in improving their health, attending courses, looking for a job and accommodation, mending family relationships etc

We are looking for people who want to improve their own situation but in turn help others.

What to expect on joining the Community

You will:

  • be living in a safe place with other Companions
  • work a 5-day week to the best of your ability in our social business – this goes to help not only pay for your place with us but also helps others most in need
  • receive your board and lodging (rent paid for by Housing Benefit) and we give you £42 a week, £6 of which are put in a Credit Union account to be available when you leave the Community.
  • sign off Benefits
  • receive holidays and allowances to go on holidays
  • stay for as long or short a time as you choose. There is no limit to how long you can stay
  • have your own en-suite room
  • have all your meals, toiletries, heating, laundry facilities provided for you
  • be welcomed by Dillan, the Community sheepdog (no other pets allowed)
  • be expected to follow strictly the Community’s rules:
  • no violence, drugs or alcohol are permitted in the Community.

See our Licence Agreement December 2012 which sets out our agreement with you.

Where we do it

We are based in Bristol in St Phillips.

How to access

Refer a homeless person to us

You  need to  place someone - Telephone 0117 954 0886 and ask to speak to the Community Manager or a member of the Support Team.

The application process & timetable

You can download our Companion Recruitment form and fill it in online or post it.  An appointment will then be given to you or the person you are seeking a position for.

Click here to contact us and choose community enquiries from the drop down box.
You can download an application form – click here for our Companion Recruitment  form.


Have you ever wanted to be self-employed or try out a new business idea with minimum risk? Emmaus Bristol is committed to supporting young businesses to grow. We are in the centre of Bristol’s most creatively driven quarter and offer a range of brilliant, newly renovated open-plan workspaces. If you are thinking about starting a new business we want you to make Emmaus Bristol your home. We have developed affordable, flexible and high-quality Business Enterprise Units ideal for start-up businesses. These are fully furnished units and the range of benefits include:
•Safe, secure Enterprise Units within Backfields House at a low, flexible rental cost for the start-up period
•Support and mentoring from Emmaus staff
•Central Bristol location with easy access by car/bus
•Wi-fi connected
•Opportunities for knowledge transfer and networking with like-minded entrepreneurs
•Use of meeting rooms by arrangement

What we do

The Emmaus team can meet with you to discuss how your business is doing, listen to the problems you may be facing and help you identify potential solutions. The team can also guide you towards support that may be available from regional and national schemes and help you to access them. Our objective is that our new Enterprise Units are available to everyone but people from the following groups will be given priority (in the order stated):

  • Emmaus Bristol Companions—those who have experienced homelessness and are living at Emmaus Bristol
  • Those who are unemployed or homeless particularly in the St Paul’s area
  • Young people between the ages of 18-25
  • Adults over the age of 50
  • Those living with disabilities
  • Those living as carers

Where we do it

We operate in Bristol - St Phillps

How to access

The UK desperately needs more business start-ups. Small businesses are engines for economic growth, innovation and employment. We need more entrepreneurial activity and that means more individuals taking the courageous decision to start their own business.

Emmaus Bristol is committed to helping new businesses start in Bristol—this page forms the first stage of your  journey to having your own successful business/enterprise.

If you are interested in using one of these units please email us for more information.

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