I’m originally from Essex and I joined Emmaus South Wales in January 2019, but I’ve also lived in the Merseyside, Sheffield and Coventry communities.

Before coming to Emmaus, I was homeless and had a problem with drugs. I wasn’t in a good place and started shoplifting to feed my habit. Life became very difficult, and I was socialising with all the wrong people, but I wanted to fit in and run with the crowd. If someone brought out the drugs, rather than me knock it back, I’d say yes and then all of a sudden I was on that roller coaster ride.

My path out of homelessness started when I went to a drop-in centre where they help people with housing. Someone said to me “have you ever thought of Emmaus?”. I’d never heard of it but they said there was a place in Coventry. I travelled there and joined Emmaus Coventry where I stayed for a few years to get my health and life back on track. From there I moved up to Sheffield and then to Emmaus Merseyside.

After Emmaus Merseyside, I spent some time abroad and when I came back, I went to my local council but because I didn’t fit into the catchment area, I couldn’t find a place to live. Luckily, I was accepted at Emmaus South Wales and it’s worked out really well.

Life at Emmaus

Everyone at Emmaus South Wales have been really supportive and I enjoy living in a community. It’s very good for building self-confidence, becoming more organised and having a purpose. There are always new projects on the go here, and during the lockdowns staff did a great job to keep us going while our shops were closed. We did a lot of online courses and started new projects like making face masks and beeswax wraps.

In the shops, I mainly help with stocking the shelves, till work and customer service. My people skills have gotten a lot better since joining Emmaus and I enjoy speaking to people on the shopfloor.

Another way I help Emmaus South Wales is community engagement, awareness raising and fundraising. I’ve been around all the local supermarkets, meeting with their community champions, building links and networking to get Emmaus more publicly known in Bridgend. We have had Asda, Tesco and Poundland collect items for us and we have done some bucket collections too. This is something I hope to do even more of in future.

Goals and achievements

A goal of mine that I have been able to achieve while at Emmaus South Wales is bringing clothing over to a homelessness organisation in Thailand. Solidarity is a big part of Emmaus, and it was really good to go over there for three weeks and help out. I met with some good organisations and charities and enjoyed seeing how they work and help people.

A recent achievement of mine is completing the Couch to 5K running programme with our Chief Executive, Jemma. It went brilliantly. I made sure I was there for all the runs, and even started running with weights in a backpack to make it more difficult. We did this programme during the third Covid-19 lockdown, and it really helped me to stay positive. Next up, maybe Couch to 10K!

If I wasn’t living in an Emmaus community, I’d be at the Jobcentre trying to find work but I don’t think I would get the same kind of support that Emmaus South Wales offers and I wouldn’t get to be involved in as many projects as I am now. In life you’ve got to make each day count and I want to continue setting personal goals to keep moving forward.


Thanks to everyone who supports Emmaus South Wales and please keep helping us in any way you can. I think it’s one of the best charities around in terms of value for your pound. Here, people get a place to live, a roof over their head, food, support, and a focus each day.