A founding member of a Glasgow charity, which rebuilds the lives of socially excluded and homeless people, has been recognised with a special award.

Ernie Hasler, who helped set up Emmaus Glasgow in 1997, has received an Emmaus UK 30th Anniversary Founders’ Medal to recognise outstanding service.

Ernie was also presented with an upcycled bench made out of stripped pine by members of the Emmaus Glasgow community at a special visit to his sheltered accommodation, attended by members of his family.

Emmaus Glasgow is a charity that supports up to 27 formerly homeless people by providing a safe place to live for as long as it is needed as well as meaningful work, in its social enterprises including charity shops in Partick and Hamiltonhill.

Inspirational achievement

Director of Emmaus Glasgow Richard Allwood said: “Ernie is an inspiration to everyone at Emmaus Glasgow because of what he has achieved to help tackle homelessness.

“He has helped created a home, a place of work and training, solidarity, a sense of companionship and belonging for our charity beneficiaries. I don’t know what is better than this!

“Throughout the years, Ernie has been a very active member of our board of trustees, taking the time to talk with people who live, volunteer and work here. He has served as a mentor for a lot of people and for his service to Emmaus Glasgow, we can’t thank him enough.”

Securing funding

Ernie was instrumental in securing the funding for Emmaus Glasgow’s first building in Hamiltonhill, when the seeds of building an Emmaus community in the city were sewn by four like-minded people in 1997.

He contacted Emmaus UK after reading a feature about the secular charity in a church magazine.

Ernie said: “We watched a video made by Emmaus Cambridge, featuring a middle-aged woman with a face like a professional boxer, from many beatings, she simply said. ‘I like Emmaus because I have my own room and a key to lock my door.’

“That simple statement began the Emmaus Glasgow journey.”

Best memories

Some of Ernie’s happiest memories include reviving the committee responsible for Emmaus Glasgow’s allotments, where the community would grow its own vegetables, and a night of Burns readings with people living and working with the charity.

Ernie added: “The most striking positive changes I’ve seen over the years, are the transformative changes that security and safety offer those individuals who do not easily fit into competitive society, but who eventually find their niches in teamwork.”

During his period as trustee, Ernie attended 18 Emmaus UK Assemblies where he was inspired by other communities and words from charity patron and humanitarian Terry Waite who survived five years as a hostage in Beirut.

To join Emmaus Glasgow as a trustee or volunteer, please call into Emmaus House, 101 Ellesmere Street, Glasgow G22 5QT, call 0141 353 3903 or email [email protected] ton apply.

The Emmaus UK 30th Anniversary Founders’ Medal
Ernie with the bench upcycled by one of the charity's beneficiaries