Wendy has been a trustee at Emmaus Suffolk since December 2022. We spoke with Wendy during Trustee Week to get to know her and the work she does. 

Why did you want to be a trustee for Emmaus?

As soon as I met the passionate and ambitious CEO of Emmaus Suffolk, Claire Staddon, I knew I wanted to join the organisation.  I met Claire just as my employer, Suffolk Building Society, forged a charitable partnership with Emmaus Suffolk. I have four hours of paid volunteering a month and staff are encouraged to use these hours with one of the Society’s four charity partners. Claire was recruiting for a new trustee, so it all fell into place.

What is your professional background and what skills do you bring to the board?

My background is public relations and marketing. I’m able to bring experience from the third sector too, having worked within the sector for five years. I’m able to advise on the more strategic PR and marketing decisions and challenges, as well as use connections to increase awareness of the organisation across Suffolk.

What do you enjoy about being an Emmaus trustee?

The training from Emmaus UK has been excellent, and really drills home our legal responsibilities, those of safeguarding and need for good governance. Those who donate to Emmaus Suffolk, and those to buy goods and services want to know that profits are being used in accordance with the charity’s stated aims. Knowing that I’m supporting with this, in order for the Emmaus Suffolk staff to do their incredible work is great!

What inspires you most about Emmaus?

Hearing success stories from the huge range of people who benefit day in, day out, from the service Emmaus Suffolk offers, is obviously hugely inspirational. Knowing that people are being given volunteering roles which are life changing is superb.  However, as a trustee, you’re one step removed from this. So, knowing that the organisation is becoming increasingly resilient and sustainable is also really motivating.

What’s been your highlight since joining Emmaus?

Can I have two highlights? The first was the grand opening of Hopestead Place – two modular homes at The Royal Oak. The magnificent Sir Terry Waite KCMG CBE gave a speech, with his usual compassion, humility and wisdom. More importantly, though, there was a sense of huge anticipation from the two people who would be first to occupy these homes and secure the dignity of their own front door. Something they hadn’t experienced in a long time.

Second massive highlight was the opening of the new shop and wellbeing hub on Carr Street in Ipswich! I’m not exaggerating (for once!) when I say the queues outside were like the Boxing Day sales. The tills rang, new people discovered the wellbeing offer and all revenue is able to help the organisation be sustainable for the long term.


Where’s your favourite place to explore around Suffolk?

Anything around the river Deben gets my vote. I’m lucky enough to live near it and enjoy walks and runs with my two dogs.

What’s your go-to order at The Royal Oak or your best second-hand find at Emmaus shops? 

Sometimes you can’t beat a well-made sandwich, made with love and great fresh ingredients. So I’d have to say, any sandwich from The Royal Oak please! I’ve been too busy meeting staff, volunteers and networking to actually do any shopping! Old habits as a PR person die hard!

If you’d like to join our team as a trustee, find out more here