I’ve been a volunteer at Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire since February 2022. I come in once a week.

I’m a student at Coventry University, studying Forensic Psychology. I’d like to work in this area in future, using my skills to support people in vulnerable situations: perhaps working in the prison rehabilitation system.

My degree course includes a work placement module, and that’s how I found Emmaus. I was looking for a place to volunteer in the local area and discovered how Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire supports people who’ve experienced homelessness. I got in touch and joined as a volunteer. Everyone’s been very friendly and welcoming.

During my weekly visits I work alongside the support team and the Social Enterprise Manager. I talk to companions – about anything they want to discuss. I’m often a listening ear to help work out what support they may need. Sometimes this is as simple as being a sounding board for their future goals.

I love it here. I really enjoy chatting and connecting with the companions. Some have felt comfortable to share their previous experiences with me. This has certainly been eye-opening and has challenged my unconscious stereotypes about homelessness. There are so many different circumstances in which someone can become homeless. My perspective has definitely changed: I’m now much more likely to stop and talk to people who are sleeping rough.

Although this placement is part of my university module, I plan to continue volunteering here. It can sometimes be hard work balancing studying and volunteering, but it’s worth it.