Homelessness charity Emmaus Greenwich is looking for local volunteers to use their skills and experience to support its community in Plumstead and its Poplar, and Lee second-hand charity shops.

The charity has a number of roles available covering driving, plumbing, household repairs and maintenance, retail, admin, clothes and book sorting, social media, upcycling, and furniture repair. Emmaus is looking for individuals with suitable skills and experience, with an interest in helping a local charity.

Emmaus Greenwich provides up to 34 formerly homeless and social excluded people the opportunity to get off the streets and into a structured environment where they can live, work and regain independence.

Network Engineer Tracey-ann moved to London four years ago and volunteers at Emmaus Greenwich every two weeks in the charity’s workshop: “I am originally from Northern Ireland, but I have spent most of my life living and working abroad. A lot of the time I would find myself in countries where poverty and homelessness was common and it was during this time that I realised how lucky and privileged my life was. I eventually returned to the UK and found myself in London, where I quite naively didn’t expect to see the same problems.”

Seeing how prevalent homelessness was in London, Tracey-ann began searching for volunteer opportunities: “There are many worthwhile charities to choose from, but I chose Emmaus because of the work they do in supporting formerly homeless people for as long as needed. There is no time limit for how long they stay and I think this makes a huge difference to rebuilding their lives.”

As a volunteer since September 2017, Tracey-ann visits the charity’s community based in Plumstead every two weeks to help build and upcycle furniture in the workshop: “As a general rule I help out in the workshop, and I’ve become a bit of a dab hand at building furniture. Emmaus want you to be happy in your volunteering role and help you discover your hidden talents, and I’m truly grateful to them for the opportunity.

“My favourite part of volunteering is meeting and working alongside the companions. I have had the opportunity to meet so many welcoming and interesting people and I can only hope I am helping in some positive way and my help is benefiting others. I would say to anyone looking to volunteer at Emmaus to just do it, and you’ll find yourself within a community of interesting, talented, friendly people who’ll enrich your life.”

Chief Executive, Tony Bradbury, said:

“Volunteers are instrumental to us and make a vital contribution to the success and day-to-day running of Emmaus Greenwich. Hopefully Tracey-ann’s experience and the variety of roles available will encourage people to use their skills and experience to meet new people and support a local charity at the same time.”

Volunteers work alongside Emmaus residents in its community and the charity’s Plumstead, Poplar, Welling and Lee charity shops. The income generated through Emmaus’s shops goes straight back into the community and enables companions to develop skills, rebuild their self-respect and help others in greater need than themselves.

To find out more about the roles on offer at Emmaus Greenwich visit www.emmaus.org.uk/greenwich. If you would like to apply to become a volunteer, please call 020 8854 3426 or email info@emmausgreenwich.org