“I started volunteering at Emmaus South Wales in 2018 and my confidence has soared since doing so.

I’m originally from Ammanford but now live in Seven Sisters, Neath. I was unemployed while I raised my three children and a few years ago my husband left me. I lost a lot of confidence when that happened and thought volunteering would be a good way to regain some of that.

The application process to become a volunteer was excellent. I went to see Damian, an Emmaus shop manager, who gave me all the information I needed and helped me to apply. I started volunteering in the Emmaus shop in Neath and now help in the Maesteg shop.

I was made to feel very welcome when I started and had training for all aspects of my role, from making displays and arranging stock to till work and how to interact with customers. Emmaus is very flexible with when to volunteer too. To begin with, I came in two days a week, but as my confidence grew, I started to volunteer all week.

My role at Emmaus has allowed me to learn a lot about retail and develop my abilities in that area. It has also given me the chance to prove to myself that I can stand on my own two feet.  Before volunteering at Emmaus my confidence was lacking, but now it has been restored a great deal and I’m much more independent. Other people who know me have even noticed and commented, which means a lot to me.

I enjoy working alongside the managers, companions and other volunteers, and have really learned the value of teamwork, which is essential in retail. Since working with Damian and the rest of the team I can imagine working elsewhere. I was, and still am, determined to make my life better than ever. I never thought I would be this happy again but volunteering at Emmaus has proven me wrong.

Emmaus is an excellent charity which supports people who were homeless and is always there to help anyone in need. For people considering applying to Emmaus to volunteer, I would tell them to go for it. You will get to meet so many new people, work, and give something back. A role at Emmaus lets you do that and plenty more.”