Our staff

Denise King - Chief Executive Officer

Denise article detailBefore starting as General Manager at Emmaus Colchester, Denise had a varied career trajectory, largely at Barclay's bank. After 20 years with the bank, Denise accepted voluntary redundancy and took some time out to figure out how she could help people close to home. Before she knew it, Denise had set up a charity in Northants and opened a thriving community centre. Her most recent job before becoming Emmaus Colchester's General Manager was a commissioner for Suffolk County Council.

Gintare Petrauskaite - Development and Progression Manager 

 GiaGia came to Colchester 5 years ago to study at Essex University. After getting her degree, she did an internship with a local charity which helps people to get back into employment. Gia has always been involved with volunteering and working with people.  She spent 7 years as a volunteer with Food Bank Lithuania, was a member of the University of Essex V-Team and worked with Red Cross. The first time Gia heard about Emmaus, was after visiting one of the high street shops while she was still at university. Gia joined Emmaus in 2015, attracted by the opportunity to work with people and she enjoys helping them to overcome the obstacles they are facing, while using person-centered approach.

Darren Scott - Business Operations Manager

Darren Emmaus Colchester Business Manager 2Before starting at Emmaus, Darren reached a Governor Grade position in the prison service working with vulnerable men, women, and young offenders. Darren is responsible for a team of up to 31 companions, 22 volunteers and pushing our retail operation further. Darren enjoys working with all of the companions, and thinks that they make his job easy, and often sees customers not realising that the people behind the tills, or working in the shops, are companions – they think they’re paid staff. The part that Darren enjoys most about his role at Emmaus Colchester is seeing the companions, who often arrive with low self-esteem, come out of their shell, build confidence and begin to trust people.  

Flo Baines - Progression Worker

DSC 0005Before starting at Emmaus, Flo worked for the University of Essex’s Student Union in their lettings department. Flo had been aware of Emmaus before applying, as she loved popping into our charity shops. She loves the fact that Emmaus provides people with the tools to really reboot their lives and instils a sense of confidence within the companions, who often arrive with low self-esteem. 

Gemma Aylesbury - Retail Manager

aaColchester Gemma Aylesbury visual merchandiser 140321Before starting at Emmaus, Gemma studied 3D design at university and then spent eight years working as a visual merchandiser for Fenwicks  - a large department store. Working for Emmaus has given Gemma the freedom to utilise her creative skills and VM background to create her own Emmaus empire. Every day brings new stock and Gemma really enjoys working with companions and the people who come in often feel like friends rather than customers. Gemma feels very lucky to be doing a job she loves for such a worthwhile charity. 

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