Support Worker Seamus Fox came to work with us after previously being a companion himself at communities in Colchester and Cambridge. He is now using his own experiences of homelessness and alcoholism to support the companions who now call Emmaus Norfolk & Waveney home.

To mark St Patrick’s Day, Seamus has shared an update on his own journey with us.

“Saint Patrick’s day is a time of reflection for me. I used to drink every day, with the 17th of March being the most revered and celebrated day of the year! But now I haven’t drunk anything alcoholic in just over 11 years. Most people who drink do so in a controlled manner and they enjoy it but for a lot of people who are alcoholic like me it is not possible to control it and it becomes something that is endured rather than enjoyed. Since last summer I have been working as part of the support team at Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney so this will be my first Saint Patrick’s day here and it is a time for me to consider how far I have come as well as how far I have yet to go.

“Community life is amazing. We are situated in the Norfolk countryside and our community really comes alive in the Spring and Summer. We have extensive grounds and we live and work in a beautiful old convent which was built in the mid 1800’s. We currently have more than 20 companions who work hard to run our furniture shop and coffee shop based at Ditchingham as well as our shop at Castle Quarter in Norwich. There is nothing else like Emmaus; it is unique because no other organisation can offer people the kind of purpose and opportunity to rebuild their lives that Emmaus does, in the way Emmaus does it.

“Back in 2016 I became homeless in North London, I was working homeless. This means that although I had a job I was not earning enough money to afford a place to live or to feed and clothe myself. Working homelessness is something that has been rising steadily this last couple of decades as the cost of living crisis has gotten worse. I found my way first to Emmaus Colchester and then to Emmaus Cambridge where I remained for nearly 5 very comfortable years before coming here to Norfolk to take on my current role.

“I think I am extremely lucky to have found Emmaus, to be living where I am and to have been able to progress within the organisation to this amazing point in my life. I am sober, I have a place to live and I am working with a fantastic bunch of Human Beings who make me laugh and give me a reason to be grateful. I am helping people to make progress in their lives while I make progress in my own.

“Together the companions, volunteers, trustees and staff here at Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney are maintaining a progressive, comfortable community that offers sanctuary and opportunity to people whose lives have unravelled and spiralled out of control, often through no fault of their own. Emmaus is a family for people who have lost or misplaced their own families. Come and see us and spend some time with us and you will be able to see it for yourself.

“And to finish I have written a wee poem for Eamon our Chef here at Emmaus Norfolk and Waveney who just happened to be born on the 17th of March.”

Saint Eamon’s Day
For Eamon Moore

When I first met Eamon
I knew he was an Irishman.
I wasn’t fooled by his
East London vernacular,
Irishness is beyond mere
speech, it is glint in the eye,
a cheeky manner of being,
and the having of the craic.
Imagine my surprise upon
finding out that Eamon of
the Moore’s of Wexford
was born on that hallowed
day, the 17th of March!
So from this day forth
we will call that day
Saint Eamon’s day and
the craic had better be 90
for it was said to have
been good in Cricklewood!