One of my biggest passions in life has always been to rebuild things. My very first job was as an Apprentice Watch Repairer when I was about 16. Then, I was taken under thing wing of a French Polisher whose work fascinated me. Following that, I became a Motorcycle Mechanic. For many years, I was just trying to find work that I loved. Whilst I loved all three of these jobs, I always wanted to challenge myself, find another craft to learn, to have another skill under my belt.

In my life, I have taken many paths and worn many hats. When I was in my mid 20’s I was training for body building competitions and slipped two disks in my back. The pain was indescribable; I went from training daily, to having to stop everything. A so-called friend at the time offered me ‘pain relief’, that was the day I become a heroin addict. During the height of my addiction I was a functioning addict; I continued to work and was hiding it from family and friends. No one knew that I was unable to get out of bed without at least £90 of heroin in my system. It was a long and difficult journey, but I have now been clean 20 years.

Life throws you many different challenges. However, nothing prepared me for having to bury my two sisters and mother on the same day. The grief overwhelmed me and I walked out of my life. Soon after, I was registered a missing person. Around 2 years later my family were finally able to get in contact with me. Immediately, they could see how much the grief had consumed me. I had given up; I had accepting that there was no light at the end of the tunnel. However, this all changed when my daughters suggested I live in an Emmaus community, it is thanks to them that I am settled and happy. My daughters helped bring light back into my life and I will always be grateful for their support.

I have been at Emmaus Cambridge for around 2.5 years and feel very settled. I love looking through the warehouse and shop, finding pieces that have so much beauty behind their often worn and tired exterior. When I work on an item of furniture, it brings me so much peace and job satisfaction. The staff at Emmaus Cambridge have always made me feel very welcome and relaxed. I am able to have a laugh with the staff team and always feel supported. I am starting a bike maintenance course this month; this will allow me to fix the bikes we get donated. Since being in Emmaus communities I have always been looking for somewhere to call home, I believe I have found this at Emmaus Cambridge.

To purchase any pieces that Rob has upcycled please check out our online shop.

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