It all started on January 2, 2017 when I packed my bags for six weeks in Emmaus Preston. Upon my arrival, I received a warm welcome from the Director, Mr Buchanan, as well as all the Emmaus companions.

My name is Grégoire, I am 20 years old and I am native of the South West of France, Toulouse. I am currently studying at the Business School of La Rochelle where I study marketing, finance, human resources, communication and economics. My business school implements various actions such as the Anglophone cap project and humility (3 months abroad from June to the end of August) in order to acquire professional experiences. These experiences allow each student to gain technical but also real life skills as a future manager of tomorrow, as this is the objective of our school.

I made the choice to complete my six weeks of Anglophone Cape within the Emmaus association which is recognised in England but mainly in France, thanks to a well-known and respected personality in France called Abbé Pierre. Having no professional experience in the voluntary sector, being a volunteer for Emmaus Preston was a great and enriching experience for me.

It is essential for every French student studying or wanting to work in the trade to know how to speak English, which is why I chose England to improve my level of English while experiencing personal and professional experience. As a volunteer for Emmaus Preston I have helped on several tasks such as delivery and collection of products to customers. I help the companions in the different stores that make up Emmaus Preston whether it’s the Megastore, superstore or shop in downtown Preston.

I also bring my ideas to improve the buying process for customers. I have created a customer survey to find out more about the views of Emmaus Preston’s customers. This information can then be used to improve the shops and processes.

This experience within Emmaus allowed me to learn a lot. I do not know yet what will be my future job but I hope it is in sports management since it is an environment that appeals to me from a young age. I come out of this experience in Emmaus Preston with greater skills and knowledge. I got to know wonderful people who are companions where I could learn from their past experiences as homeless people. I also met many volunteers whom I thank for their help.