Our trustees volunteer their time and skills to support Emmaus Bradford and play a vital part in ensuring we meet our strategic objectives and our ultimate goal to open a Bradford community. We’ve put some questions to Emmaus Bradford trustee Rachel De Luca so you can get to know her better.
What made you want to be an Emmaus Bradford trustee?
I used to be a member of Baildon Ladies Circle, which is a local fundraising group where each year the chair gets to choose their own charity to support. When it was my year, I really wanted to support a homeless charity, as, during my time as a Samaritans volunteer, I had spoken to many people who had experienced homelessness. I was always very moved and surprised by the many varied reasons that people can become homeless; it really can happen to anyone. I did a bit of research about homeless charities and really liked the progressive ethos of Emmaus. It is helping people to help themselves and restoring self-esteem.
What is your background and what has your career path been?
I have mainly worked in the import export industry. My first job was working for a medical company in the export department. Then, after a couple of years working overseas in Gibraltar and Dubai, I spent 10 years with the global shipping company Maersk Line, after which I worked for a couple of smaller freight forwarders. I have often been involved in some form of voluntary work or fundraising in addition to my other jobs. Prior to taking time out to have a family I spent three years as a Samaritans volunteer where I also helped implement a mentoring system for new volunteers.
What do you enjoy most about being a trustee at Emmaus Bradford?
Without doubt the amazing and inspiring people I have met in this role: the staff, volunteers, my fellow trustees, companions and staff from other Emmaus communities. I love that we all share the same vision and passion to create an Emmaus model for Bradford.
Has the Covid-19 pandemic changed or impacted your role as a trustee?
Yes definitely. We have had to hold most of our trustee meetings on Zoom. Also, due to having to close the shops during the various lockdowns, we have had to look at different ways to raise funds and survive the last year. Due to a lack of volunteers earlier in the pandemic, I spent more time helping out on the delivery van than I had done before.
Can you sum up what Emmaus means to you in one sentence?
Emmaus restores lives by restoring people’s feelings of self-worth and a sense of belonging.
Tell us something interesting about you…
I’m an open water swimmer; I started swimming outdoors about 3 years ago. It has been amazing to help with my mental health and I’ve made so many wonderful new friends.
What food can you not resist?
Homemade cake – especially coffee and walnut! It’s a must after a cold swim.
Emmaus Bradford is recruiting for new trustees to join the team. Click here to find out more about the role.