Lewis joined Emmaus around four and a half years ago, starting off at the Emmaus Colchester Community. Lewis has since moved to Emmaus Suffolk and he’s thrilled to now be working as a member of staff in the Community.

My journey to Emmaus started when I had just split up with my ex-partner; I was with her for 23 years. I ended up living under a bridge on the A12 for a couple of months. I had slept rough a bit in the past and I did okay; I was able to keep warm and find food. I know it’s not the same for everyone. I was solitary for all of that which was very tough. Eventually, I got into a night shelter and that’s when I first heard about Emmaus. The night shelter was okay; you get people from all walks of life there, and I was only there for two weeks.

While I was at Colchester I was mostly cooking in the kitchen for the community, and I enjoyed it. I’ve worked in a lot of kitchens, and I was a baker for many years. I’ve done all sorts of jobs, I’ve worked on the docs in Ipswich, I’ve done chrome plating, and I’ve been a labourer. I’m not work-shy and I was really happy to get stuck in.

After a while, I moved to join Emmaus Suffolk. I love it here. It was really easy to adjust from one community to another which was good. I started off in the community house and then moved into a room above the Royal Oak.

Now that I’ve been taken on as staff, I’m going to move back to the community house. It will be really good for me; I’ll be back in my same room and just down the road from my girlfriend. It’s a lot more independent there and I’ll be living with other people who are working.

I’m really happy to now be working full time as staff with Emmaus. I’m working on the van collecting donations, doing house clearances, and working in our homeware shop on Dogshead Street. The Homeware shop is doing so well and it’s really good to see how everyone has supported us.

I’m loving the job. It’s always been my intention, and it was back in Colchester, to eventually get some sort of employment with Emmaus. Now it’s finally happened – and it’s great.

Emmaus is really good; you have to put the work in but you get good results.  I’ve worked proper hard since I’ve been here and now I’m reaping the rewards. I feel proud of myself, and it took me a while to feel that, but I do now.

It’s the people that I work with that make Emmaus what it is for me. Everyone at Emmaus Suffolk has been amazing. They’re a brilliant bunch of people. I’ve always known that support is there if I need it. I just get on with everyone.

I like being here in Ipswich as I’m back in my old hometown. Half my family lives here in Suffolk and Ipswich and it’s great to be surrounded by them.

It’s great to be part of the team. I’ve seen so much progress since I’ve lived here. I’m glad and I’m proud to be a part of the charity and to now work for them; it’s just brilliant.


This week Lewis is celebrating one year as a staff member at Emmaus Suffolk! He’s gained lots of new skills working in our retail team and while out and about on the vans. Regular customers of our Home Shop will know Lewis as a friendly and welcoming team member. A huge thank you to Lewis for his continued hard work.