Grace's story

Sheffield companion Grace Amos 140919

At Emmaus Sheffield I instantly felt comfortable, like I was part of an extended family, and that has really helped me get on with the staff and the other companions, even though I am the only girl.

My home situation had been bad for quite a long while before I came to Emmaus last spring. My mum, dad and I had been fighting a lot, especially about the fact that I wasn’t working.

I was trying hard to find something, sending my CV out all over the place, sometimes as many as 50 jobs in a week, but I rarely got a reply or interview.

I got some qualifications from school, but I have suffered with some mental health problems and depression, with people labelling me as ‘difficult’ and ‘stubborn’. I prefer to think I stick to what I believe in, and finally, here I’m starting to believe in myself.

Sitting in a classroom has never been my strong point, but learning practically while working has really suited me. Since starting at Emmaus I’ve been in the sorting room, the furniture warehouse and now I am usually on the tills. I enjoy meeting people and interacting with the customers.

I use my common sense to problem solve, checking the donations that people bring in to see if they are suitable, arranging deliveries and collections and answering customer queries. I’m having a personal development session once a month and I plan to carry on living here until I have gained plenty of experience for my CV.

After that, of course I would like my own place, but at the moment it really feels like the luck of the draw – finding a job would be first, then getting a suitable flat where I could afford the rent. Or I might be ready to go home again at that point, especially if I have work.

I’m in touch with my family by text and on the phone from time to time, I think they are pleased that I am getting on so well. I certainly don’t want to have to go back to sofa-surfing, feeling like I am asking favours from people. Here I am pulling my own weight and I’m happy to do so.