I’ve lived in the Emmaus Leeds community for around three years, I joined on 4 March 2020 and it’s got to be one of the best communities I’ve lived in. I’ve lived in Emmaus in total for four and a half years but that’s been spread over 15 years . And in that time I’ve lived in other communities like Emmaus Plumstead, Dover and Preston. I’ve even lived in an Emmaus in Paris for a bit.
I was born in Scotland and I lived there till I was seven. My dad got a job in England, so we moved there and then we moved quite a bit around the Midlands for quite a few years, then my parents split up. I left home when I was 15 and went into foster care because I wasn’t getting on with my mum and stepdad. My dad had gotten into a lot of trouble with the police and I think I reminded them of him.
I left foster care when I was 16 and moved on to the streets of Birmingham. For a few years I travelled up and down the country living from place to place, outside of banks, parks you name it.
I moved to Holland when I was 29 as one of my friends invited me over and I managed to get a job out there in a factory. I loved it in Holland but I had to move back to the UK after snapping a muscle in my arm whilst loading heavy pallets onto vans. I needed surgery so coming back to the UK was my only option.
When I got back to the UK I moved to Doncaster and started volunteering at a local library. It was there I met my ex-wife. We were happy for a time but then she met someone else and we sadly got divorced. I ended up losing everything and was back to square one again.
I’m living in Emmaus Leeds now with my 11-year-old cat Suzie; she means everything to me and she’s very well looked after. I love being able to keep busy here and I work mostly in the shop now because it’s something I really enjoy.
Through Emmaus I have gained my Maths and English qualifications and I also have my NVQ in shop management skills which helped me to learn how to problem solve and improve my communication skills.
My favourite thing about Emmaus Leeds is that we’re a family. We take care of each other, we help each other and we are there to support each other through thick and thin.