A group of our formerly homeless companions is volunteering to help local vulnerable people, including rough sleepers being temporarily accommodated by Coventry City Council during the COVID-19 crisis.

They regularly collect stock donated by wholesalers and other suppliers, and safely deliver food and essential items to all Coventry food banks/hubs as well as those currently living in various hostels and hotels in the city centre.

Companion Lee Cregan said: “It’s great that people are temporarily off the streets but they don’t necessarily have things like food and toiletries. Demand for food bank services is also greater than ever.  We decided we wanted to do something to help because we’ve experienced homelessness and know how much it means when someone shows they care. So several times a week, we don our PPE and drive around with a van full of food, towels and toiletries – dropping off where people need it most.”

The group have also delivered supplies of toiletries for use by ICU patients in University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire.

Lee said: “I grew up in care from the age of three. Being born into that kind of life made me feel very rejected and confused. As an adult I’ve had my fair share of challenges but my battles with depression were very real. I heard about Emmaus two years ago when I was on my own and needed somewhere to start again. I’m such a different person now. My passion has always been music; Emmaus has bought me specialist software so I can produce music from a studio in my room. It’s become my therapy and helps to keep me focused.

“During my time at Emmaus, I’ve learnt that when people care about you, your luck can change.

That’s why I wanted to volunteer my time now; it’s a way to pay forward the kindness that’s been shown to me and help out others going through this crisis.”

Please support the work of Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire during the COVID-19 crisis – thank you.