This Trustees’ Week, members of the Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney Board of Trustees share why they chose to use their skills and experience to support a local homelessness charity.

Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney provides a home for as long as needed and meaningful work for up to 23 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion. Those being supported by the charity, gain valuable skills through working in the charity’s two second-hand shops at Belsey Bridge Road, Ditchingham and on Market Place in Bungay.

The combination of a long-term supportive environment for people who have experienced homelessness and the opportunity to learn new workplace skills was the reason David Daynes applied to become a trustee:

“I have been an Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney trustee for seven years and it was the model that Emmaus operates by that attracted me to the role. Not only does the community provide a home, but it provides work and a reason to get up in the morning.”

The Board of Trustees plays an important role to Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney, offering their skills, knowledge and experience to help with the development and governance of the charity. Roland Kay, who is now retired, and Peter Co, both saw the opportunity to put their skills to use for a good cause:

Roland Kaye, who has been a trustee for three months, said:

“For me, the role of trustee is about putting something back into the community. I’m retired now, but I am a qualified accountant, and for many years I was a dean of university business schools. I’m hoping to use my experience to assist with the strategic development of Emmaus so that we can continue to support the companions as they go forward in their lives.”

Peter Coe, who has been a trustee for two years, said:

“I became a trustee because I really wanted a way of using my experience to help others. For me, it would be difficult to find a better cause than this – Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney is a fantastic charity working hard to support people who have experienced homelessness.”

The role of a trustee can be demanding, but ultimately extremely rewarding, which is one of many highlights for Conflict Resolution Consultant, Milee Brambleby:

“I have been a trustee since 2014, and I still get an enormous sense of belonging from being part of the community and involved in a purposeful and important activity that isn’t about making money. The ethos behind Emmaus is entirely about supporting those that need it while they take the time to rebuild their lives.  I get a huge sense of satisfaction and it is a privilege to be involved in making that happen.

“If you are looking for an opportunity to make an immediate and genuine difference to the life of someone that is really struggling then this is for you. If you’re up for helping in a practical way, then you will get so much more back than you ever put in.”

Community Director at Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney, Cecile Roberts, works closely with the Board of Trustees, and said:

“It is an exciting time for anyone to become a trustee for Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney with several projects and expansion plans on the go. It is their chance to be part of a vibrant and successful community and apply their skills and experience to the strategic direction for our future and contribute to the positive change in people’s lives’.”

Trustees meet as a board 12 times each year and individual trustees may also get involved in other ways, as their time permits. The charity provides full induction training and offers reimbursements for travel expenses.

If you would like to apply to become a trustee, contact Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney on 01986 895444 or by email at info@emmausnorfolkandwaveney.org.