This Volunteers Week (1-7 June) Emmaus Leeds is paying tribute to its longest serving volunteer, Peter Talbot, who had dedicated 10 years to supporting the homelessness charity.

Leeds-born Peter first became a volunteer at Emmaus Leeds in 2011 after retiring from a successful career in sales, which took him as far as South Africa.

Now 82, he has made an invaluable contribution by volunteering twice a week at the Emmaus Leeds Secondhand Superstore on St Mary’s Street. He is responsible for sorting and pricing up donated items ready to be sold in the shop. All the profits from this shop go back into supporting the work of Emmaus Leeds.

Emmaus Leeds supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home, support, training and work in a community setting.  Peter and his fellow volunteers work alongside some of the formerly homeless people supported by the charity.

By volunteering at Emmaus Leeds, Peter has made connections and friends from around the world, which has led to trips to Peru and France.

Peter said Volunteering here is wonderful on many levels. I like the whole community spirit and my time at Emmaus has enabled me to gain a real insight into other people’s way of life and given me a sense of purpose in the work I do”.

Scratch the surface and you will find that volunteering goes far beyond what you might first imagine. It’s not just a question of passing the time on, it’s a question of enjoying the time. The spin-off is quite amazing. There are things you don’t anticipate that just happen, almost by accident really.”

We are currently appealing for new retail volunteers to join Peter and the volunteer team to help sort donations, restock the store and assist customers at the Secondhand Superstore.

Gina Morrison, General Manager of Emmaus Leeds said; Volunteers are integral to the work we do at Emmaus Leeds, and to have someone like Peter around is a joy.  He adds so much to the community, not only his reliability and hard work, but his cheerfulness and interest in everyone, young and old alike.  Peter is living proof that volunteering can expand your horizons and bring new friendships and experiences into your life.  If you are interested in volunteering with Emmaus Leeds, please email [email protected] for further details and an application form.”

Volunteers’ Week takes place 1-7 June every year. It’s a chance to recognise the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. Volunteers benefit charities and groups across the country, but volunteering has been shown to improve volunteers’ wellbeing too. Volunteering can also help people gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost confidence.

To find out more about the volunteer roles on offer at Emmaus Leeds visit our Volunteer Roles page.

Read Peter’s Story.