To celebrate thirty years since homelessness charity Emmaus was established in the UK, Anthony attended a lunch event at Clarence House, the royal residence of the charity’s royal patron, Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Rothesay.

Anthony was one of thirty people who have been supported by Emmaus communities across the UK to be invited to the lunch with The Duchess, and to share with her how the charity has made a difference to his life. Each of the primary guests was also able to invite someone who was part of their journey at Emmaus to attend and Anthony chose to bring Emmaus Glasgow Director Richard Allwood.

Anthony’s story

Anthony joined Emmaus Glasgow in 2013 after spending several years in and out of temporary accommodation, struggling with his finances and balancing his meals. At Emmaus Anthony found the stability and support to better manage his life. Thanks to the help of a dietitian organised by Emmaus, Anthony’s diabetes is now under control and he has been able to learn how to budget.

Anthony said: “It all went really well, except for me spilling my pudding on Her Royal Highness’ Persian rug!

“You could tell Emmaus had arrived as there were so many characters. I came in my new suit and beautiful coat that had been donated to us at Emmaus Glasgow.

“Her Royal Highness was incredibly warm and intelligent. I think Her Royal Highness likes being the patron of Emmaus and is very interested in helping homeless people.

Talking to the Duchess

“I talked to Her Royal Highness about Emmaus Glasgow’s visit from the United Nations Chilean and UK Climate Champions during COP26 and she asked me whether I spoke Spanish to one of the delegates, but I told her French was my second language, and that I try to speak to one of the French people at Emmaus Glasgow.

“I thought I’d be more tongue tied, but I was excited by it all. When I was going through difficult times in the past, I really didn’t think I would one day meet the Duchess.

“At the end of the lunch event, she went upstairs to her apartment, and I got to take home a piece of 30th birthday cake.”

Anthony runs Emmaus Glasgow’s shop in Hamiltonhill where he helps process donations, operates the till and takes queries over the telephone.

Helping even more people

Charlotte Talbott, CEO of Emmaus UK, said: “We are extremely grateful to HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and the staff at Clarence House for hosting a fantastic 30 year celebration event. Countless lives have been transformed in Emmaus communities and groups over the past 30 years and it was important to be able to bring some of those people together, along with their guests, to mark this important point in our history. It was a great day and a fitting tribute, and I look forward to seeing Emmaus reach even more people over the next 30 years!”

The event on Wednesday 10 November 2021 was part of Emmaus’s 30th anniversary celebrations, reflecting on what the charity has achieved in the past three decades. Emmaus was brought to the UK from France in 1991, and there are now 29 communities supporting more than 850 formerly homeless people by providing them with a safe home, training, tailored support and meaningful work in a social enterprise.

Emmaus Glasgow beneficiary Anthony was one of 30 people to be invited to the Duchess of Rothesay's official residence Clarence House