My name is Neve, I have been volunteering at Emmaus for a few weeks now and I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing another volunteer who has dedicated years of his life to Emmaus. After a brief introduction with Keith, the volunteer, I was excited to fire my questions in his direction.
Q: So, how long have you been volunteering?
A: Around eight or nine years, it’s been a long time (he laughed at that).
Q: What do you do as a volunteer?
A: Well, anything they ask me to do really, mainly stuff inside the workshop like repairing furniture and other things.
I went on to ask him what he enjoyed the most and his immediate response was he enjoys being in the workshop as all his life he’s worked with his hands, building things etc.
Q: What would you say you’ve gained from volunteering?
A: Friendship (he smiled as he said this) I’ve formed a lot of relationships with people.
Q: Why do you volunteer and what made you want to volunteer in the first place?
A: The main reason was because I’d been retired for a while, I spent two of those years doing up the bungalow me and my wife live in. But as time moved on I found myself really bored, and there’s only so much time I could spend in my house, on my own, waiting for my wife to come home before I’d eventually had enough. It was actually my wife that suggested volunteering and I pretty much jumped at the idea. I volunteered at a Fire Service in Ashton for eighteen months fixing and putting up fire alarms and now I’m here.
A: What do you enjoy about volunteering?
Q: I love having a look around, seeing what’s new, if there’s anything I can buy, little bits and pieces I could get to help them (Emmaus) out, but the main thing I’d say is definitely the friendships. The companions are brilliant and they all accept me as I am, because I’m not an easy person to get along with. It’s really nice to look around and see what I’ve made on display and being used by others, it’s very satisfying to see.
A: What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering?
Q: Jump at it. Get stuck in and just try it, try something, anything, and if you don’t like it then you don’t have to do it again do you? But at least you’ll have tried it.
Q: Would you say volunteering has changed your life?
A: I suppose it might’ve done. I’m really happy doing what I’m doing. When I don’t come here, I really miss it and it’s definitely added something to my life I didn’t have before I came here.
After I finished asking Keith questions, we chatted for some time, about my life and his, discussing things etc. As a ‘newcomer’ to Emmaus and to volunteering, it was nice to talk to somebody more experienced and welcoming. It was also nice to hear somebody else’s story and see how different our backstories are in regards to both ending up in the same place.
Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home and work in a community setting. The Emmaus Mossley Secondhand Superstore not only generates an income to help sustain the charity, it also offers work and training opportunities to people supported at Emmaus.
To find out more or support Emmaus Mossley head to www.emmaus.org.uk/mossley. 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.