Emmaus Bradford Van Morning

Emmaus Bradford is closing

On Monday 9 October, the Emmaus Bradford board of trustees took the very difficult decision to initiate the closure of the Emmaus Bradford charity. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported the charity over the years. Find out more here.

I’m Sofina Rafiq and I became a trustee for Emmaus Bradford in January 2020. My background is in marketing, and I worked in strategic marketing management for a few years.

Whilst working within a very challenging customer service role for a housing association, I gained valuable frontline experience of dealing with tenants with a range of disabilities, mental health issues and learning difficulties. Alongside, enjoying working with vulnerable tenants, I promoted independent living.

I participated in the working groups of this organisation, sharing ideas and strategic direction towards improving ways of working. I have become very passionate about helping and working with individuals in need. I have a caring nature and many transferable skills, so recently I decided to become a student mental health nurse.

Inspirational board members

Having never heard of Emmaus before, I came across Emmaus UK’s website by chance, and it really made me want to learn more.

I had been looking for the right opportunity for a while, as I really wanted to help make a difference to people’s lives. Giving homeless individuals a chance to get their lives back and become independent, seemed perfect. Emmaus’s social enterprise model really appealed to me. I thought the people at Emmaus would be great to work with and that I could apply my skills and experience as well as my personality to the trustee role. It was perfect.

I had a meeting with trustee Jan Andrew from Emmaus Bradford about the trustee role, and it looked brilliant. I just knew this trustee post was right for me. Meeting the board members helped me to make my decision to become a trustee. I just loved the care and passion the other trustees and chairperson showed in growing Emmaus Bradford.

My vision as a trustee

I’m looking forward to being part of establishing and developing a community at Pollard House. When I qualify as a mental health nurse, I want to help provide holistic care and strategic direction towards better health initiatives and independent living, further supporting Emmaus Bradford.

I love what Emmaus does: Emmaus helps people. It gives individuals a chance to help themselves to become independent, which is brilliant. It’s also the people who work for Emmaus that I love. Everyone is so dedicated and passionate towards helping people out of homelessness.

Sofina’s Factfile

  • Best secondhand purchase: A spider plant and it’s still alive. I bought it from one of Emmaus Bradford’s shops.
  • Top pastime: Studying for a nursing degree is full on, the time I do get I try to spend with family and friends.
  • Tell us something interesting about you: In my previous job, I was awarded ‘Best attitude to work – in recognition for consistent cheerfulness, positivity and helpfulness to both tenants and colleagues’. This truly reflected my personality.
  • Favourite quote or song lyric: It’s quite a long quote by Mother Teresa, Do Good Anyway.

Emmaus is on the look out for trustees with experience in adult social care managementhomelessness support services, or strategic marketing and fundraising to volunteer to help support our charity to end homelessness in Bradford. To find out more, please visit our trustees role on the volunteers page of our website or contact the chair [email protected]