Terry Waite CBE celebrates his 20th anniversary as Emmaus President
It's 20 years since Archbishop Robert Runcie decided to step down as President of Emmaus UK and asked me to take over. Robert had been on the runway to meet me after my release from captivity and he provided me with a lot of support during those difficult first few months.
At this time he also asked me to officially open Emmaus Cambridge, the first Emmaus community in the UK. I was inspired by what I saw there and my experience of being a hostage enabled me to understand the loneliness and isolation that homeless people feel. So, when Robert asked me to succeed him as President in 1998, I was honoured to accept.
As President of Emmaus UK I have seen time and again the hope that Emmaus offers to people who often have nowhere else to turn. The support and companionship that men and women find at Emmaus is truly transformative, and over the past 20 years it has been a privilege to see, first-hand, how companions rebuild their self-esteem.
I’ve met so many inspirational people since becoming President, and I have seen Emmaus grow from that first community in a field in Cambridge to 29 communities across the UK, with over 780 rooms for formerly homeless men and women. So much of this progress would not have been possible without the generosity of people like you, who have given such unwavering support for our work.
It continues to be a pleasure to serve as President of Emmaus UK"