Volunteering at Emmaus is like being part of a family. Everyone is very welcoming and friendly.

I first started coming to Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland about six years ago. I was visiting the café in the Emporium shop and got talking to three women around my age. I joined the group and we started bringing crafts and sewing to do while we chatted and enjoyed a cup of tea in the café. Word spread and gradually the Tuesday Craft & Chat club became a weekly place for older people in the local community to meet others. Our club is paused for now but we hope to bring it back when the COVID-19 situation means it is safe to do so.

During my weekly visits I got to know the staff and started volunteering one day a week. I helped out where I could, assisting customers, making coffee and helping to keep the stock clean. After the recent three-month COVID-19 lockdown, I decided I wanted to volunteer more. I’m now helping out at the La Boutique shop five days a week.

I like that I’m helping a charity which does so much good and I love that I now have a purpose every day.

That is so important; people sometimes don’t realise how important it is. I wake up and know that I’m off out. When I arrive I chat to the staff and companions, and perhaps make them a cup of tea. I like working alongside the companions and I know all their names.

At the moment, my role is to welcome the customers at the door and I very much enjoy it. I’m an outgoing person and I like meeting new people.

I would definitely recommend volunteering to other people, especially if they live on their own and want to meet others. I just love coming here. I enjoy it and I’ll do whatever I can to help.