Each year, hundreds of inspiring Emmaus UK supporters challenge themselves to do brave and wonderful things – usually something they have never done before – to raise money for our charity.
Alan Oakley, a resident at one of our 30 communities and groups across the UK, is no exception. He approached Emmaus Colchester last year after finding himself homeless due to a relationship breakdown and his struggles with drug addiction.
Every homelessness case is complex, but the breakdown of a relationship is a common primary cause, estimated to account for about one in six cases in the UK, according to studies in recent years.
Inspired by the support he’s been given at Emmaus, Alan is pledging to brave a 13,000-feet skydive and raise at least £800 to ensure the charity can offer a warm and welcoming community, meaningful work, training opportunities and much more to those experiencing homelessness across the UK.
Speaking about his upcoming fundraiser, Alan said: “I really don’t know what I’d be doing without Emmaus, so this skydive means a lot to me. I want to help people who are facing a similar situation to what I went through. Emmaus has helped me so much and I want to raise awareness of what they do and how they support people.”
With more than 850 Emmaus companions living in communities stretching from Glasgow to Dover, each one operating a shop or social enterprise, no two communities are identical. They have their own distinctive personality, catering to the needs of their local area and providing a variety of services.
For Alan, Emmaus Colchester has been a beacon of hope, providing him with the “support and structure” he needed to turn his life around during one of the most difficult periods he’s faced.
“I have managed to kick a £1000-a-week cocaine habit and haven’t touched it from the minute I walked through the door,” he said.
“It has helped me find a new sense of direction and purpose, and whilst I still have work to do on myself, I know in the future that I want to move into support work and help those who have been on a similar journey as my own.”
Want to help Alan raise money for Emmaus? Visit his JustGiving page to donate.