Mountaineering record-breaker, Bonita Norris, and the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich visited Emmaus Greenwich on Wednesday 26 September as part of a development programme for formerly homeless people.
Emmaus Greenwich is a charity that provides a home and work for 34 formerly homeless men and women, known as companions, to help them to re-build their lives. To help fund the community, and to give companions meaningful work, Emmaus collects and sells second-hand furniture, clothes and other items in its shops in South East London. Emmaus’s goal is to help homeless people regain their self-respect and help them move on to independent living when they are ready.
Bonita Norris, the world’s youngest person to climb both Mount Everest and to reach the North Pole, delivered an inspiring talk and Q&A session to Emmaus companions, staff, trustees and volunteers. When she made the decision to climb Everest, Bonita had little climbing experience and limited funds to finance the expedition, which cost over £50,000 at the time. Less than two years later, in 2010 and at the age of 22, she had reached the top of the world. Her message about the importance of taking things one step at a time, the power of teamwork, and the beauty of the natural world inspired everyone in the audience.
Also in attendance at the talk was Christine May, the 2018/19 elected Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, who selected Emmaus Greenwich as one of her charities of the year.
Speaking on the talk, Emmaus resident John, said: “Bonita climbed two peaks – the first being Everest, but the second being the gruelling months she spent trying to find sponsorship to go on the trip. What an inspirational lady and an eye-opening talk.”
Tony Bradbury, Chief Executive at Emmaus Greenwich, said: “Our residents work hard to rebuild their lives following homelessness. As well as providing companions with a safe and secure home and the opportunity to work, Emmaus also tries to offer companions a variety of events to help with their support and development including training, workshops, and motivational talks. I would like to thank Bonita for the truly inspirational talk, and thank the Mayor for attending. It was an honour for the whole Emmaus Greenwich community to welcome them both.”
Bonita (www.bonita-norris.com) is a sought-after motivational speaker and event host, and has spoken internationally for world famous brands over the past eight years, including Bentley Motors, IMG WME, Veolia, PWC and Roche.
To find out more about Emmaus Greenwich, visit www.emmausgreenwich.org