TWO young Prestonians are looking forward to promising careers at Emmaus Preston after we supported them into employment through the Government’s Kickstart Scheme. 

Emmaus Preston match-funded money from the Government to create two new full-time roles for an initial period of six months, and turned these into permanent posts for Mustafa Ahmed and Mustafa Dal. 

This month, Mustafa Ahmed will be celebrating his first year of working as Finance Officer for Emmaus Preston, receiving on-the-job training and a new accountancy qualification funded by the charity. 

Before, the 20-year-old was selling trainers on Instagram to make ends meet. Now, Musty, is rising to the challenge of helping handle the books for a charity with the largest secondhand store in the country, Emmaus Preston Megastore. 

Kickstart to accountancy

Mustafa, who attends Preston College to study AAT accountancy one day each week, said: “I’m buzzing with the news. What I love about working at Emmaus Preston is the type of work I’m doing and how I’m able to help the companions. Over the past 12 months, I’ve learned a lot thanks to my mentor at work and I’m now looking forward to passing my exams to become a qualified accountant.”   

Fellow Kickstart worker Mustafa Dal has also moved on to a permanent position, drawing up business plans as Business Development and Volunteer Officer for Emmaus Preston. Mustafa progressed from a role in retail operations and logistics, ensuring the smooth running of all three Emmaus Preston stores in Brookfield Street, Fishergate and Deepdale, working alongside a team of up to 26 formerly homeless and vulnerable people. 

The first-class graduate in Business and Chinese signed on for universal credit when his university course came to an end. 

Building a routine

He said: “It is a great experience, working with companions. Emmaus has a really good ethos. It gets people who have been homeless off to a good start by building routines back into working lives and helping people move on after that.  

“When I’ve not been working, everything goes upside-down for me and I don’t like it.  When you’ve got something there, you can keep up with that.” 

Emmaus Preston Director Stephen Buchanan said: “The team at Emmaus Preston is very supportive and we have a lot of experience at helping vulnerable people move on with their lives. We’re very thankful to be in a position to have been able to fund two new roles and offer such unique mentoring so more people can gain the work experience, skills and training they need for a better future.” 

To find out more about staff, volunteers and companions, please visit our stories page here.