This month Emmaus Bradford welcomes a new member of the team.

Fran Graham has been appointed as our new General Manger, and joins Emmaus Bradford with a wealth of experience in management, marketing and business development. By way of introduction, we’ve asked Fran some questions so you can get to know her better;

Tell us a bit about yourself

I live in Bramley, West Leeds where I’ve been an active volunteer in community activity for the last 10 years. Work-wise – my background is management, marketing and business development within the third sector – working with a range of arts and charities on the operational and strategic side of things. My last role was Services & Development Manager at Bramley Elderly Action, managing a team of staff and volunteers to provide services and opportunities for local older people to stay active and independent.

The role also involved developing two community buildings and a community shop – brilliant challenges which immersed me more deeply in the area I live in alongside some wonderful volunteers and community activists. I guess the thread running through the work I’ve done is a desire to unlock people’s potential – particularly in areas described as being deprived.

How did you first hear of Emmaus?

My first job in audience development was based near to Emmaus Leeds and when it opened I went in for a mooch around. I thought the concept was brilliant. A lot of my furniture comes from Emmaus.

What are you most looking forward to doing in your new role as General Manager of Emmaus Bradford?

Our big plan is to establish a companion community here in Bradford – an inspiring aim that is definitely getting me out of bed in the morning!

How do you spend your time when you’re not working?

I volunteer locally and am Chair of a small but emerging community development group called Barley Community Trust. I like to walk and have found that it has been relaxing and therapeutic during COVID. And I’m learning to grow veg at home – I hesitate to say I’m a gardener, but I love planting seeds and seeing what happens!

Favourite places in and around Bradford?

I love Lister Park and Little Germany – and the City Park, but I’m looking forward to getting to know the people and places better now that I’m here more often.

Favourite film?

That’s a hard question – anything by Wes Anderson, so probably The Grand Hotel Budapest or Isle of Dogs, but City of God always stands out for me as one of those films that hits you like a cold shower.

Favourite food?

At the moment it’s samosas from Anaand Sweets in Harehills.

Favourite quote?

“Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.”