My name is Mike and I’m 64 years old. I’ve lived at Emmaus Glasgow since 2015 or 2016but I’m originally from Bedford. I’ve lived in another Emmaus community, Emmaus Village Carlton, that was back in the early 2000s.

I started drinking and smoking at an early age, and I got into trouble at home and school. I ran away from the home I lived in with my grandmother because I’d got into trouble and just wanted to avoid any more of it.  I’ve lived on the streets a number of times throughout my life, probably for about four or five years in total, but I didn’t care at the time because I was out of my face.

Before coming to Emmaus Glasgow, I was in a bad way with drugs and alcohol so my Aunt, who lived up in Scotland told me to come up to Ayre and sort myself out. I packed my bags and caught the bus up to Glasgow. My Aunt picked me up and I stayed with her for about six months in Ayre and managed to get into recovery. I attended about three AA meetings a day and then I moved to Emmaus Glasgow.


Life at Emmaus Glasgow

I’m usually in the workshop, but I used to do quite a bit of work driving the vans, now I spend my time upcycling and making items to sell in the shops. I’ve always been into making things, from enjoying this as a kid. I got given a model Volkswagen aeroplane kit and I enjoyed doing that, so from there I started making more stuff, like carving little masks and cricket bats.

The staff at Emmaus Glasgow are really supportive of me making things. I have been making tables out of whiskey barrels and ponds out of them for the garden. Recently I made a bench for a local primary school. A mother and her daughter asked me to make a ‘buddy bench’, it’s for when a child feels lonely. They can sit on the bench and everyone will know they need a buddy. When I have an idea, I speak to staff here and they are really encouraging and try to get me the materials I need to make it.

At Emmaus Glasgow I feel like I don’t have any worries. I’m not worrying about bills like gas and electric as it’s all taken care of. I’m 64 so I’m not looking for a house, a family and to travel, I’m just happy to be here and not be worrying about things. The staff have really supported me with my alcohol and drug issues and I’d like to say thank you to them.

To anyone who may be in a situation like I was, I would say, ‘take a leap of faith, join an Emmaus because what have you got to lose?”. If you have problems the staff here will support you, don’t hide it because they want to help.