I joined Emmaus Hertfordshire in March 2023 as a volunteer.  So far I’ve mainly been involved with administration work – putting together a contact database for volunteers, reviewing & updating the volunteer’s handbook and pulling together an inaugural newsletter. The newsletter is intended to keep companions, volunteers, trustees and staff updated on things going on at Emmaus Hertfordshire. I got to visit our Boxmoor and Tring stores, which allowed me to meet Sam and Emily and hear about their great work providing valuable content for the newsletter!

My hours are fluid and average five or six hours a week. I typically volunteer and come to Hill End on Wednesdays, but Emmaus is very flexible which is great as it allows me to balance other commitments.

I did some volunteering for St Albans Winter Bed project which provides an extra 6 beds for people who would otherwise be rough sleeping in St Albans during the winter months. That was on a more ad hoc basis, so Emmaus is my first proper volunteering commitment.

What is your career background?

I worked for 30 years with a Big 4 accountancy firm so have been in business and the corporate world for most of my career. Having retired recently, I’ve got time and energy to explore something completely different.

How did you hear about the role?

I had been thinking about volunteering but wasn’t sure about which sector or even how to go about finding a role when I came across a notice in the St Alban & St Stephen’s Church newsletter advertising a volunteer role with Emmaus around mentoring and skills training.  I contacted the team who were so welcoming and encouraging about how I might be able to serve. They have been very happy for me to explore different volunteering opportunities and have given me flexibility as I  figure out where I want to focus my efforts.

What do you like most about volunteering?

The people – I like meeting new people and hearing about their different roles at Emmaus. The Companions take such pride in their social enterprise work and have such varied backgrounds that it has opened my eyes to a very different world.  Volunteering gives me a sense of purpose which I am valuing, and I feel like I am on a new journey. If I can make even a small difference by, say, having a conversation with someone who I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have a conversation with, then it’s those simple things that make it worthwhile for me.