When a person joins our community as a companion, they are provided with an individual bedroom, all meals in a communal dining room, and normal living expenses. There is no time limit and this stability helps people to rebuild their lives following homelessness.
To be accepted at Emmaus Gloucestershire, a person has to sign off all benefits with the exception of Housing Benefit, which goes to Emmaus Gloucestershire and helps to fund the community.
Most people stay at Emmaus Gloucestershire for a few months but some leave after a short time and others stay for years.
At Emmaus Gloucestershire, we know that it takes more than just a roof over someone’s head to help them overcome homelessness. That’s why, unlike hostels, companions are asked to volunteer up to 40 hours per a week in our social enterprise, with two days off, a long weekend after three months, and a week’s holiday after six months.
Volunteering covers work in our five second-hand shops, our eBay room, maintenance, van driving, collections and deliveries, stock sorting, and kitchen work.
Appropriate free training is provided in health and safety, manual handling, food hygiene and other subjects as relevant.
Opportunities are provided to access other courses and people can apply for the Emmaus UK Companion Training Fund to help cover the costs. Companions can also take on positions of responsibility within the community such as team leaders, duty team members and community assistants.
Some people also choose to gain experience in the PAT testing room to test donations of electrical items.
We work by the mutual agreements as set out in the Companion Core Offer, which exists to ensure that all companions are receiving a consistent level of support no matter which community they are part of.
Click on Learn More to see the full list of what we offer and what we ask people to do in return when joining our community.
Michael, Emmaus companion.
“Without Emmaus, I don’t think I would be around right now and it has given me a lifeline to a better future.”