Life in the community
'Companion' is the name we give to someone who lives and works in the Emmaus Hertfordshire community.
Each companion has an individual bedroom and lives in the community with all meals provided in a communal dining room and normal living expenses are covered. Each receives a weekly charitable allowance to pay for any extras.
Companions are encouraged to register with the local doctor and to visit the local dentist and optician as appropriate. Healthcare, including prescriptions, are usually provided free of charge.
Once accepted as a companion, a person has to sign off any benefits they may have been receiving such as income support, jobseekers allowance or incapacity benefit. Unlike hostels, Emmaus companions work a 40-hour week and have two days off a week, and a week's holiday after every 13 weeks.
There are a few rules which include no alcohol or illegal drugs are allowed on the premises.
Appropriate free training is provided in health and safety, manual handling, basic food hygiene and other subjects as relevant. Opportunities are provided to access other courses, many of which are local. Companions can take on positions of responsibility within the Community such as team leaders, and duty team members.
Most companions stay for at least a few months but some leave after a short time and others stay for years.