On 6 December 2022, staff from Cadent Gas visited Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland to prepare Christmas gift boxes for companions. Claire Valentine and David Allsop spent the afternoon filling boxes with toiletries donated by Cadent staff. They spoke with companions, volunteers and staff members and learned more about how Emmaus works with people experiencing homelessness. Claire reflects on her experiences from the day.
From my visit to Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland today, I think the work that Emmaus does goes above and beyond my expectations for any charitable organisation. Originally, I wanted to become more involved in the work that Cadent are doing with Emmaus as I was interested to learn more about what I could do individually to help support the local community.
The charity partnership between Cadent and Emmaus, for me, represents action. It’s the actions of our employees engaging within the Emmaus community and understanding the wider impact we can have as a business for people who have experienced homelessness within the UK. To do this effectively, it is important that we understand the needs of Emmaus UK through engagement, commitment and passion to each donation.
For me, this experience has been a real eye opener to the generosity and community values that we hold at Cadent. We have had tremendous participation across all of our depots in the East Midlands and Emmaus have been wholly supportive of the process every step of the way. We have received around 40 shoeboxes through our Aylestone Road Depot currently and donations across Kettering, Sheffield, Chesterfield and Burton are still flowing in.
My personal enjoyment lies in knowing that the donations that we have raised will ensure that the Emmaus companions we have reached out to will all have something fruitful to unwrap during this difficult festive period.
I really enjoyed meeting the companions, in particular one of the Emmaus companions will stick in my mind for years to come. He was wearing a 20kg weight vest in training whilst working a 37 hour a week position lifting store furniture at Emmaus Leicestershire & Rutland to train and in turn raise money through a sponsored walk.
His commitment to training was inspirational, and although I didn’t get the chance to talk to him for a long period of time I felt that his actions spoke louder than any words.
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of being “too busy”. What I would say is, there is no such thing as being “too busy”; you can only make a difference if you want to do so. So next time you turn on the kettle to make your morning cup of tea or flick on the heating on to warm up your living room, remember that not everyone has a living room, or a kettle or even a mug.
A small donation of time can make all the difference when supporting Emmaus, whether that be helping to plan a charity raffle, helping with a Christmas appeal of even just heading down to your local Emmaus to find out what they need. Don’t be too afraid to pick up the phone or reach out as every donation time or money helps.
Feeling inspired and want to know how your workplace can help people experiencing homelessness? Find out more about becoming a corporate partner.