To celebrate 30 years of helping people out of homelessness, 30 people supported by Emmaus over the years were invited to a lunch event at Clarence House, the royal residence of our Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.
Three decades since the first Emmaus in the UK opened in Cambridge, current and former companions from communities across the UK travelled to London to meet The Duchess, our Royal Patron of fifteen years, and talk about the difference Emmaus has made to their lives.
Each companion was able to invite a guest who had made a real difference to their time at Emmaus, meaning that other companions, support staff and volunteers were also part of the celebration.
She said she’ll always remember the day: “It has been absolutely amazing. Her Royal Highness was so welcoming and kind. When I was talking to Her Royal Highness, I said
‘Who would have thought that someone who was sleeping in toilets and on the streets is now meeting royalty in Clarence House?’
“It was also great to see everyone from different communities within Emmaus. It’s been an absolutely amazing day and one that I’ll never forget.”
For Geoff, a former companion who was supported by Emmaus for more than twenty years, the event was an opportunity to see old friends.
He said: “It’s been fantastic to meet people who I met right at the start, and of course meeting Her Right Highness.
“You can see the Duchess really cares about people and the work that Emmaus is doing.”
He said: “I was very excited. I couldn’t believe it when the Duchess approached us and started talking to us.
“She was enquiring about my journey with Emmaus, it was overwhelming!”
Charlotte Talbott, Chief Executive of Emmaus UK, said: “We are extremely grateful to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall and the staff at Clarence House for hosting a fantastic 30-year celebration event.
“Countless lives have been transformed in Emmaus communities and groups over the past 30 years and it was important to be able to bring some of those people together, along with their guests, to mark this important point in our history. It was a great day and a fitting tribute, and I look forward to seeing Emmaus reach even more people over the next 30 years!”
Due to the pandemic, it was our first in-person event celebrating our milestone anniversary. The thirty people invited to Clarence House have all shared their stories as part of our year-long ‘30 Stories’ celebrations. You can find out more about our 30-year history here.