I came up to Salford with my family when I was six years old. After a life doing all sorts, I became a full-time carer for my mum and dad. They unfortunately passed away, I subsequently lost my flat and then became homeless.

Before coming to Emmaus I’d been sofa surfing at my friends and got so bored with doing nothing. I put myself on a health and social care course at college and when I came to fill in the application form, I had to put that I was homeless. The college immediately gave me a support worker who told me about Emmaus.

I’d walked past Emmaus Salford a thousand times and wondered what all them chairs in trees were about. The way it was explained to me by my support worker was a charity that offered people a home and an opportunity to work. I came for an interview on the Friday and moved in on the Monday.

I joined Emmaus Salford in October 2017. It was a real shock when I first moved in. After being homeless it was a massive relief just to get my own room. I’d been out of work for a while so having that daily focus of work was also a big weight off my shoulders.

I’ve always done multiple occupancy, having come from a big family and then living in loads of shared houses, but Emmaus is slightly different. For me, at my age, I was tired out. It was nice to come to Emmaus, relax, meet some new people and get my strength back up. It’s been really good for me.

Life at Emmaus

I have done various different roles at Emmaus Salford and been given opportunities to change roles. I’ve done cleaning, cooking, work in the shops, customer service and driving on the vans doing deliveries and collections. Being part of Emmaus allows you to do a variety of work. I’ve always been multi-skilled and love working with people and helping people.

Outside of work I got involved in a quite a few different events and activities. Doing a 25-mile fundraising walk between Leeds and Skipton was a real highlight. I’ve also done the five-a-side football and swimming. I enjoy those communal activities as it’s good for team building.

In May 2020 I managed to secure my own flat and moved out of Emmaus. I’d been for an interview with a local housing provider and was promised a flat but due to the lockdown, everything was put on hold. Thankfully though the housing officer stopped by and enquired as to why I hadn’t got the flat yet. Within about eight hours I had a flat.

I was back volunteering at Emmaus Salford the next day as I need that continuity and like being busy. I’m mainly doing all the food deliveries for Lucie’s Pantry and any other pick-ups of donations. We’re also donating any excess stock that we’ve got to other local charities.

It has been a busy time during the COVID-19 lockdown, making sure that Lucie’s Pantry members and vulnerable households get their food and essentials. Everyone’s so appreciative when you’re delivering food to them. I really enjoy it.

Helping others

At Emmaus you can help people and they can help you. We all look out for each other. If someone’s struggling, then they can come to me or someone else and have a chat. I’ve grown so much as a person and I’d say to others who are struggling, give Emmaus a try. When all else is lost and you can’t see the wood for the trees, give Emmaus a go.

I’d like to give a massive thanks to all the people who take the time out to support Emmaus. The cause is a good one and we all try to create an environment of helping people. We don’t just sell someone a piece of furniture – we go the extra mile to support people in the local community. Lucie’s Pantry is a great example of that.

My plan for the future is to carry on volunteering at Emmaus, look at voluntary roles at other services and then secure a job doing support work. I’m waiting on a DBS check and I’ve already got my NVQ in Health and Social Care so now I’m looking to further the skills and experience I’ve already got.

For the first time in my life, I’ve become patient. I’m feeling better than I’ve ever felt and clearer in my mind. I wake up and feel motivated every day. I have to put this down to myself and joining Emmaus Salford. The time that I’ve been here has been really positive and now, moving forward, I still want to be part of Emmaus. I’m just really appreciative of the support I’ve received.