Carl became a companion of Emmaus Hull & East Riding community 25th February 2019. After suffering with poor mental health, he found himself homeless and estranged from his family. This caused Carl’s mental health to deteriorate further, with no sense of purpose, low self-esteem and no place to call home.

The relationship between Carl and his children’s care givers had all but broken down, which resulted in loss of contact for Carl with his children, losing several months access to his youngest son and daughter. Sadly the relationship between Carl and his Mum had broken down to virtually no contact whatsoever.

Carl describes his first night at Emmaus as feeling “nervous, scared and unsure what the future could possibly hold”. This was the first time that he had experienced community living. Carl was introduced to his buddy and made to feel at ease with a warm drink and a non-judgemental ear to listen and reassure him.

The first time he walked through the door, he was greeted by a warm, friendly and unconditional welcome by a community that Carl now considers to be a part of his extended family. Carl has soon adapted to his work role within the superstore and enjoys the structure and challenges this brings to his working day.

Furthermore, Carl stayed patient and trusting with his support worker to establish the correct path for his mental health needs. Carl explains that the communication between him and his support worker has allowed him the confidence to explore the options available to him for support in mental health. This prevented him needing to be admitted to hospital and instead allowed him to have the flexibility of having a home-based treatment team that work with Carl here, at what he now considers his home.

With support and careful planning from Emmaus, Carl has also successfully achieved access to his children and was able to assist his daughter who recently had a hospital stay. He was able to travel to be with his daughter at the hospital in another city, with support around time off and travel costs.

Carl acknowledged that a big part of his positive experience was having a buddy to talk and turn to. In fact, Carl himself has completed his buddy training so he can offer the same practice to any new future companions. Carl has also plans on completing his NVQ Level 1 & 2 in customer service and warehouse and attends the weekly progression sessions run as part of the Emmaus training programme. Carl also intends to work with the solidarity committee in future campaigns as part of the core values at Emmaus.

He is very much looking forward to the future and now often reflects on how far he has come since he began as a companion back in February and in Carl’s own words: “Thank you to Emmaus for the opportunity and a second chance at life”. Carl now often visits his Mum on his days off for an evening meal and they frequently speak on the phone. Carl places the success of this firmly with Emmaus as he has been able to deal with his personal issues without feeling like a burden. Carl plans to spend some time in the summer travelling around different communities and generally enjoying life to the max. He’s in the process of starting his volunteering with the Army Cadets in some of his free time as he wishes to become a positive role model to the younger generation.

Carl’s support worker feels incredibly proud of him for everything he has achieved and it has been a pleasure to see Carl evolve into the person he is today. Carl will continue to have our full support throughout his time here and encouragement to achieve even more of his personal goals.