From street homeless to the Emmaus UK Board
For the first time in its 20 year history, a current Emmaus resident (known as a Companion) is on the Board of Emmaus UK.
Chris Briggs has spent a year working on the Federation Committee as a representative of the national Companions' Forum.
Before joining Emmaus, Chris worked in various strands of hospitality at management level, and was also the co-owner of a café and a delicatessen. After losing his second business, he spent eight months living street homeless in London. He has been with Emmaus for two years, in Emmaus South Lambeth and Emmaus Brighton.
Chris said: "Emmaus in the UK is at a major crossroads. With the economy flatlined, homelessness growing and Social Enterprises becoming more and more necessary, Emmaus is needed more than ever in the past 20 years in the UK.
Emmaus has grown-up a lot in the past few years - previously it tended to to look at residents as 'poor recipients' to be 'done to', but now we are seen as an important part of part of the decision making process. Companions, after all, understand Emmaus as no other people can and we are being given the chance to make it a stronger and better Social Enterprise.
I am proud, and nervous, to join the Board; but know that by being the first, I am helping to create more opportunities for interested Companions to help shape the future of this unique organisation at all levels. We are being given a challenge - I believe we can rise to it."
Published on 22nd February, 2012