One of the biggest targets for our outreach team, having helped former rough sleepers get back on their feet, is to set companions on a successful path for the future.

Whilst support from Emmaus will always be there, it’s important that former companions are able to be self-sufficient and stand on their own two feet when they leave the Orchard.

And this is easier said than done. Developing applicable skills, gaining experience to put on a CV, adapting to the day-to-day rigmarole of a job and even having the clothes to present themselves in an interview can be a big ask.

But for a group of 10 companions that are close to taking the next step in their journey, they were given support in all of these elements and more.

Renowned hypnotherapist Sheila Granger, along with other businesses, recently collaborated with us to deliver a workshop to get them employment-ready.

The event took place at Cave Castle, in South Cave, on the afternoon of Monday January 28. All the businesses involved are giving their time and services free of charge, and Cave Castle is providing complimentary use of its venue.

On the day, companions experienced:

  • An interactive session with Sheila to teach practical techniques for accessing inner confidence and self-belief
  • An inspirational presentation from Jason Kay, co-director of The Marketplace business based in Barton, about his own experiences of homelessness and his rise to success
  • A makeover for each delegate with a hair stylist from the award-winning Alexander Hair and Beauty salon, based in Anlaby, and a smart new outfit courtesy of the Hull-based Squared Clothing store
  • Professional photography courtesy of Andrew Crozier from Insight Photography, so the delegates can attach photos to their CVs and online profiles
  • CV-writing tips and job application advice courtesy of HR consultant Kate van der Sluis

The 10 companions offer a broad range of skills and experience, from butchery to warehousing, catering and furniture restoration.

The day was a great success and has already resulted in the offer of work experience for some of our companions.

Any local businesses that would be willing to offer work experience or would like to see the companions’ CVs should contact training and development leader Kelly Meacock by emailing [email protected] or ringing 07539 029298.