New look coffee shop at Emmaus Norwich
Emmaus Norwich at Ditchingham has recently undergone a further transformation thanks to the input of Joan Gall, a valued volunteer. The bric-a-brac room has been converted and in its place is a new coffee shop where fresh coffee, tea and scrummy cakes are available to buy.
Joan came along with her husband John Gall, a member of staff from Emmaus Cambridge who has been seconded to Norfolk for a year. Joan has not always been a volunteer with Emmaus. Over coffee and cake, she shared a bit of her background.
“I was married and living in Edinburgh” said Joan, “but things changed and 15 years ago I left my ex-husband and my life behind and moved to Colchester. I then moved to Cambridge where I joined the companions at Emmaus. Just like other companions I did a bit of everything including helping in the coffee shop. At that time there were volunteers running the coffee shop, I slowly became more and more involved doing the cooking, cleaning and being the mainstay of the coffee shop which I really enjoyed.”
Whilst there, Joan met John, another companion, and in 2002 they married at Shire Hall with a reception at Emmaus Cambridge, the first wedding at Emmaus UK.
“It was going to be a quiet wedding to start with” added Joan “but it escalated to 300 guests and we were honoured to have Terry Waite, Patron of Emmaus UK, as our Guest Speaker”.
John became a member of staff in 2005 at Emmaus Cambridge and Joan became a full time volunteer in the coffee shop, which started with just four tables, and over the years has grown to fourteen tables and has been redesigned four times.
In May this year Joan, John and their 4 year old black Labrador, Sammy, started a one year secondment to Emmaus in Ditchingham. Joan volunteers in the coffee shop whilst John helps develop the business side of the charity, including the building up of the new Bungay shop.
“We’ve already fallen in love with Norfolk and Sammy has really settled in well” said Joan who is enjoying life with the Emmaus community.
The coffee shop is to have an official launch at 11am on Saturday August 29, coinciding with Sale Day, when there will be an opportunity to hunt out some amazing bargains. Customers are also invited to offer ideas for the name of the coffee shop prior to the launch.
To find out more please visit www.emmaus.org.uk/norwich or call 01986 895444
Joan Gall is pictured in the Emmaus Norwich coffee shop at Ditchingham.