Gabriela and her parents Soraya and Mario started volunteering with us in December 2022 after moving to Gloucestershire. They are going through the asylum process and Gabriela’s parents don’t speak much English, so she volunteers with them to help translate. We had a chat with the family to learn more about their experience at Emmaus Gloucestershire. Have a read!

“We started volunteering at Emmaus Gloucestershire in December 2022, all at the same time. I went twice a week at first, one day with my dad and the other with my mum. Now I just come one day a week and alternate it that way instead because we have other things to do in the week!

What we like most about volunteering is that we’re learning a lot. It’s a whole new experience for us and we are learning what working in the UK is like. We all really enjoy getting to know new people and my parents like having the opportunity to learn English. It’s given us the opportunity to start anew in this country.

Most of the time we sort and scan donated books, CDs and DVDs, but sometimes we have helped to select and clean jewellery. We feel good volunteering here and accepted. The people we work with are very kind and helpful. They treat us kindly, help us understand what to do and we all work well together. Volunteering with my parents is easier too because I’m there to help translate for them.

We always hear great things about Emmaus Gloucestershire from other people too. When we tell them that we volunteer here, they say it’s a good charity and one of the best in the area!

We don’t have the right to work here because we’re going through the asylum process, but we feel good volunteering because we are learning how to work in the UK. It fills us with satisfaction to be able to help the local community with what little we have. We intend to keep volunteering at Emmaus Gloucestershire until the Home Office tells us we need to move somewhere else.”