On 11 May, Emmaus Hastings & Rother trustee David Cooper attended a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, as a representative of homelessness charity Emmaus UK. Every year, three garden parties are given at Buckingham Palace together with one at Holyrood to acknowledge the positive contributions the guests have made to their communities across the United Kingdom. David has been a supporter of Emmaus UK for over a decade, serving not only on the Emmaus Hastings & Rother board but also the board of trustees for Emmaus UK.

David attended the Buckingham Palace garden party with his wife Krysia. The parties have been cancelled for the last two years due to Covid-19, and it was announced earlier this year that they would return this summer, although sadly Her Majesty the Queen will not be in attendance. Unfortunately this week’s party was marred by the first significant rain in London for many weeks but the Royal family and their guests took this in their stride, with hundreds of umbrellas of all colours and sizes on display.

David said:

“It was an honour to represent Emmaus at the event, and, despite the rain we had a fascinating day. I am very proud to be a part of the international Emmaus movement, and look forward to many more years of supporting Emmaus in the UK.”

David is originally from Southwest London, but moved to East Sussex in the late 1970s when he was offered a job as an engineer at Dungeness nuclear power station. In 2009 David became involved with Emmaus Hastings & Rother through a friend who was helping to launch the charity. David recognised the local need for an organisation that offers support and work as well as a home to people experiencing homelessness. He rolled up his sleeves and helped with fitting out the charity’s shop and warehouse, then led in the effort to raise the funds to build the new accommodation block for companions, and has been an important part of the community ever since, serving for the last 10 years as Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Zach Hurst, the Community Leader at Emmaus Hastings & Rother said:

“It’s fantastic that David was invited to attend such a wonderful event. He is a huge asset to our community, and to Emmaus UK as a whole and we’re delighted his dedication is being recognised.”

Congratulations to David for being a part of this prestigious event, we are so grateful to all the work he has done, and continues to do, at Emmaus Hastings & Rother.