One of our main goals at Emmaus SLC is to encourage our Companions to increase their skillset so they have the confidence and ability to move on from us and find new work. We achieve this by offering to fund courses for our Companions to earn qualifications which help make them more employable.

We are very happy to say that one of our Companions, Mark, has recently gained fulltime employment as a telescopic forklift driver. We sat down with him to learn more about his journey at Emmaus and how he was able to secure his new job.

Can you tell us about your job prior to working at Emmaus?

I worked as a forklift driver before Emmaus. I had been doing it for a long time, one job was at the Millenium dome that was when I passed my test. I have years of experience doing it.

How did being at Emmaus help you secure your new job?

Emmaus SLC paid for me to go on a 4-day course at a local training centre to gain my theory, practical and health and safety qualifications which are required to be a forklift driver. Without them I wouldn’t be able to be on site. These qualifications could also lead onto other work; I could upgrade to a different kind of forklift for example.

What was the job-hunting process like?

It was a bit of a long process getting my new job. I needed specific documents to start working and it wasn’t as simple as just sending off one letter; I had to wait for weeks and weeks to get these documents. This process of waiting would get dragged on for 9 weeks. I found it frustrating waiting for all these months, but it finally worked out in the end.

Did being at Emmaus help you during this time?

100% yes. Emmaus gave me a roof over my head and food in my belly. All the Emmaus team have been very helpful, especially Yvette (ETE coach). Yvette helped me write my new CV when I found the job listing on Indeed and helped me pass my theory test. Sanjiv (community manager) helped a lot too during this period. Danny (Head of finance) helped me with funding side of things for my course when it came to applying to the course in the first place Everyone has been a great help really and I really appreciate it.

Now that you have this new job what are you plans going forward?

I am going to stay at Emmaus SLC for another 3 months and then move into my own accommodation.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

I would definitely recommend Emmaus to people who are homeless or sleeping rough on the street. Being at Emmaus has not only got me off the streets but has opened up so many great opportunities for me. I have really enjoyed being part of the community, I’ve made so many good friends who I plan to stay in contact with once I move on to my own accommodation.

I especially want to thank Ross, Sanjiv and Yvette for their consistent support and encouragement when it came to passing my tests and getting this new job.

Funding for training comes from a number of sources, the main one being a central pot, called the Companion Training Fund, that all Emmaus Companions in the UK can apply for.