Gary Barton, one of 26 formerly homeless people who live and work at Emmaus Mossley attended The Queen’s Garden Party on Tuesday 23 May 2017 accompanied by Chair of Trustees, Frances Hirst.

At the Garden Party, Gary was able to meet Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, who has been Emmaus UK’s Patron for over a decade. Frances and Gary were introduced to Her Royal Highness, and were able to chat about their experience and involvement in Emmaus.

“Frances and I had an amazing time at the Palace and it’s a day I will never forget. When I mentioned to The Duchess that I was a companion at Emmaus Mossley she seemed really interested and wanted to know more. I will always be grateful to Emmaus for the opportunity to attend as a representative of the charity.” Gary, companion at Emmaus Mossley

Emmaus supports formerly homeless people by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives. There are currently 29 Emmaus communities across the country, supporting more than 760 companions (formerly homeless people) in the UK.

Every year The Queen hosts three parties in the Palace and one in Holyroodhouse as a way to recognise and reward public service. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by other members of the Royal Family, speak to a broad range of people from all walks of life, all of whom have made a positive impact on their community.

“Gary and I had a great day out at Tuesday’s Buckingham Palace Garden Party and were very proud to represent Emmaus Mossley during our 20th Anniversary year. We were very lucky to be presented to Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, who chatted to us and was genuinely interested in our community. It was the icing on the cake!” Frances Hirst, Chair of Emmaus Mossley

All Garden Party guests united to take part in a one minute silence as a mark of respect for the people affected by the Manchester Arena attack. Frances added:

“It was also moving to share one minute’s silence with people from all over the country. Strangers we met at the garden party expressed their sympathy, support and admiration for the people of Manchester in the wake of the previous night’s awful events at the Arena.”


To find out more or support Emmaus Mossley head to If you would like to get involved or donate an item, please call 01457 838608 or visit the store at Longlands Mill, Queen Street, Mossley OL5 9AH.