What is your name?

John McGovern

How long have you been associated with Emmaus Cambridge?

Since January 1997. 23 years

Share a memory you have of your time at Emmaus Cambridge.

Removing all the temporary caravans used for companion accommodation in 1997.

What is your favourite section of the shop/Community?

The garden, seeing how it’s changed over the years.

What does solidarity mean to you?

Helping those that are struggling.

Name one celebrity you would like to sit down and have dinner with?

Roberta Rast

What does a typical day at Emmaus Cambridge involve for you?

The thing I love about Emmaus is that no 2 days are the same, every day brings new challenges. Even more so at the present time.

What food can you not resist?

Fish and chips.

What is the strangest item in the shop that you have come across?

A box of toenail clippings.

What do you feel most grateful for?

Being able to give back to a community that saved my life.

What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted to do in your life, if you’ve done it how did it make you feel and if not then why not?

I always wanted to backpack around the world. In 1991 I started off in Greece, a small island called Naxos, I spent 9 months working there and had a fantastic time. Made some very good friends. Ironically when Diane Docherty started with Emmaus it transpires she was working on the same island at the same time.

What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?

Moving from being a companion to a member of staff 10 years ago.

What do you value most in a friendship?


How do you feel about your friendship with fellow staff/ trustees at Emmaus Cambridge?

We have an amazing team here in Emmaus, everybody helps and supports each other. Great bunch of people.

What’s your favourite hobby?


What’s your favourite animal?

African grey parrots.

After lockdown what do you hope to have learnt about yourself that maybe you were not aware of before?

To have more faith in my abilities.

Favourite music band?

The Killers.

If you could choose the one place to isolate, where would it be?

Naxos, some very happy memories created there.

If you could choose the one person to isolate with, who would it be?

Lydia Leonard.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life so far?

My Ex-wife Cate, even now she supports me in what I do as well as being a fantastic mother she is also a lovely person.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Hopefully still with Emmaus.

What is your biggest fear?

Spiders, anything bigger than a money spider and I’m running,

If you could be good at something that you are not, what would it be?

Playing the fiddle.

Where is your happy place, and why?

 I have a lovely walking place where I take my dog regularly, its peaceful, tranquil and a beautiful place to walk.

Describe what Emmaus Cambridge means to you?

Emmaus has been a massive part of my life since 1997. For me, it’s a lifesaver, if I hadn’t had the support I got when first arriving then there is only one place id be now. 6 feet under. Throughout my time here I’ve seen massive changes to the community, new accommodation blocks, new warehouse, and new staff. Emmaus never stops changing, always moving forward but still keeping the same ideals as many many years ago when it first started in the UK.

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