A group of formerly homeless people who now live and work at Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland boosted their self-confidence and gained vital lifesaving skills by completing a first aid course – thanks to our Brighter Futures project.

The one-day training was delivered by Skillbase First Aid at Barwell Methodist Church. The course was attended by three formerly homeless people we’re supporting.

Speaking about the training, Peter Billington (36, pictured left) said:

“I came to Emmaus last year when I left prison and had nowhere to live. The charity is supporting me to rebuild my skills and confidence. It’s a slow process but I’m taking it step by step. The first aid training was a massive achievement for me; going into a classroom environment with lots of strangers was a big deal and I’m so proud to be a qualified First Aider. I feel this is the start of new, positive things to come and look forward to facing more new challenges.”

The training course covered identification and first aid for someone who has had a heart attack, a stroke or is in shock. Trainees also learnt bandaging, CPR and what to do if someone goes into anaphylactic shock, as well as how to use a defibrillator.

Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland provides a home, support and meaningful work for 16 formerly homeless individuals. Some stay for a few months as they gain confidence and skills before they are ready to move on to independent living; others are in need of longer-term support and are able to stay for as long as they need to.

Steven Day (40, pictured right) slept in his car after his relationship broke down and he had nowhere else to go, eventually losing his job. He is now being supported by Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland:

“I’ve got a much more positive outlook and no longer feel alone and worried about my future. Becoming a qualified First Aider is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while but never had the opportunity. I now want to complete other training to build my portfolio ready for future employment. It’s this sort of thing that helps me feel good about myself and reminds me that I have the ability to do what I want when I put my mind to it.”

The first aid training was provided as part of ​Brighter Futures, which helps people to improve their lives by helping them overcome obstacles through a combination of coaching, mentoring, volunteering and training. We are one of seven Leicestershire organisations working together to run this community-based project. Brighter Futures is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

Kate Taylor (48, pictured centre) was supported by Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland for 11 months after finding herself homeless following the loss of her job where accommodation was provided. The charity supported her to gain new skills, including participation in the first aid course:

“The course gave me the chance to meet new people and a sense of pride in what I could achieve. It motivated me to really think about what I wanted to do next. I recently moved out of Emmaus and started a new job in retail. Thanks to these experiences I’ve been given a new start at life and I’m really

Find out more about Brighter Futures or call us on 0116 3191420.