Trustee Spike is heading to Uruguay on Saturday 7 May to represent Emmaus Gloucestershire at the Emmaus World Assembly, which takes place from Monday 9 to Saturday 14 May.

The Emmaus World Assembly happens every four years in a different location and this year there are 384 delegates from 34 countries coming together to discuss, debate and connect. During the week, Emmaus members will exchange ideas and decide on the 2021-2025 guidelines to strengthen the Emmaus movement, tackle the causes of injustice and keep our heritage alive.

Debates during the week will be on the environmental, economic, social and democratic challenges facing our movement today, the responses that we can develop collectively, and how we can preserve the values, principles and practices which have made our movement strong and unique – community, work, welcome, self-sufficiency, awareness-raising, and collaboration, particularly with the most excluded people in society.

At 17, Spike left his family home and spent 10 years moving across the UK. Heavily involved with drink and drugs, Spike alternated between sleeping rough and in hostels when there was space. A run-in with police led to Spike moving to London in 1997, where he was eventually invited to take part in a UK wide research project with Emmaus.

Working with Emmaus on a research project which looked to identify ways to end homelessness changed Spike’s life. He realised that the community values of our movement resonated with him, and he took the opportunity to become a trustee at Emmaus Gloucestershire. Years later, Spike still uses his experience of homelessness to help others that are in the same position that he once was and is also an Emmaus International board member.

There’s a packed schedule at the Emmaus World Assembly, with workshops, discussions and cultural events taking place. We’re very excited to hear all about Spike’s experience when he returns. We will be posting updates from Spike on social media throughout the week. Follow us to find out more.