Monday 24 August 2015

My summer placement


This summer I’m a volunteer at Emmaus Leeds. My name is Marie, I’m 21 years old and I come from France. I’m studying at La Rochelle Business School in France in order to work, in two years’ time, in the sector of marketing and business. I have been studying management, marketing and communication for three years. My school wants their students to acquire good people skills in order to gain experience to be a good manager in future.

To gain experience and develop my people skills I decided to come and work for three months this summer at Emmaus Leeds. I wanted to volunteer full-time in the community and to have the opportunity to talk as much as possible in English.

Emmaus is a famous association in France and really important. L’Abbé Pierre, creator of Emmaus is a famous personality, respected in France and which the French people remember as an important icon. The association is one of the more important in France and is helping homeless people and poor people every year, in a country where  poverty is present and has become more important in the context of crisis.

I have been working at Emmaus Leeds for two month and I have one month left to do. I’m working every day of the week with the companions and the other volunteers. My work is varied and different from what I’m used to. I’m helping in the shop, in the sorting room (where we classify and price the donations) or in the kitchen where we cook for the community and the volunteers. I also do more physical work when I’m in the crew van (we deliver furniture bought in the shop and collect the donations), in the warehouse, in the garden or in the workshop where we refurbish furniture to give them a new life.

Working alongside the companions is really interesting and makes me discover the hard work they do. Working for Emmaus is an opportunity to be open minded and to meet people I wouldn’t meet outside of this amazing community. We are in contact with people that are helping the charity by their donations and the people that need the help of Emmaus.

With the welcoming atmosphere and the kindness of the companions, the employees and the volunteers, I really feel part of a community where I’m useful and valued.

After my experience at Emmaus I’m going back to France to finish my studies. After the end of my studies, in two years, I would like to manage teams in the business of sport. In management, the more important attribute is to have people skills to understand the people you are managing. These are skills that I have gained during my three months at Emmaus.


For more information about volunteering with us please visit our'Opportunities at Emmaus Leeds' page.

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