I’m Pamela and I work at Emmaus Leeds as an Administrator. I can’t believe I’m writing this charity blog as nearly 11 months has whizzed by since I started… WOW!

Back in September 2019 I joined the team after being made redundant from my previous job. I saw the vacancy and applied straight away. After doing my research (including trying to pronounce Emmaus correctly), I was invited for an interview which included a tour. I was impressed at how big the building was and how much was going on. It might sound cheesy but the minute I sat in that chair for the interview I felt at home, so when I got the call offering me the job, I couldn’t believe my luck.

My main duties are cashing up, dealing with petty cash, ordering stationery, banking, invoicing, bill payments, and making sure everything tallies up. But, because Emmaus Leeds is a combination of a workplace, a shop and a home, there is no day the same and my job adapts to whatever is needed on a daily basis.

I have five school aged children and my hours fit in perfectly around them which is brilliant. I work with 12 members of staff, 26 companions and around 6 regular volunteers. The biggest challenge for me was learning all their names but I got there in the end.

One memory that sticks in my mind since I’ve worked here is the day a customer was suddenly taken ill in our shop. Everyone automatically pulled together to help out, from calling the ambulance, administering first aid, re-directing traffic so the ambulance could get to the building, calmly dealing with other customers and temporarily closing the shop. I was so proud of how the situation was dealt with by everyone.

Working together

It’s a really nice feeling working at Emmaus Leeds. It’s not like any other job I’ve had before as there are lots of people from different backgrounds with different personalities who all have their own story and their own reasons for coming to Emmaus. I really enjoy telling friends and family about Emmaus and how it runs. People seem to think it’s just a charity shop that helps the homeless (I’ve shopped here a few times in the past and thought the same), but it’s so much more than that. It’s a home and a job and stability for companions as long as they need it to be. They get some amazing support to help get their life back on track and it’s really nice to be part of it.

My children have learnt all about Emmaus and wanted to help raise money, so they were really excited when they got to take part in the Big Marathon Month event in June. They set their target at £100 but raised well more than that in the end and were very proud of themselves when they got their Emmaus medal and certificate.

To all the people who shop with us or make donations to us I just want to say a huge THANK YOU. You’re not just helping a local charity you are helping people to help themselves and change their lives for the better.