Mike's story

Companion Mike in Mossley

I was a head chef in Brighton and have got experience in cooking and working the restaurants for 18 years. I got in some difficulties with gambling and drinking which led me to lose my job and become homeless.

Luckily I found Emmaus and joined the community in Coventry for nine months and then moved to Emmaus Mossley in 2012. Emmaus has really helped me in many different ways.

The most important thing that Emmaus Mossley helped me with was to get my British citizenship, my passport and a lot of qualifications. I’ve done English, mathematics, warehousing certificate and first aid.

I’ve worked in all areas of Emmaus Mossley – sorting donations, in the shop, warehouse, workshop, upcycling, on the vans and in the kitchen. Of course most of the companions didn’t like my cooking as they said I used a lot of spices. Food for me is about flavour though – taste is the most important.

One of the things I was happy and proud to get involved with was the solidarity outreach on Thursday evenings. We went to Manchester many times to give the people who are homeless food, hot drinks, clothes and chat with them for a while.

I’ve been to the Emmaus Paris Salon in 2016 to help with the solidarity sale. It was really hard work but I really enjoyed every second of every day of it, seriously.

Getting help with my citizenship and passport has allowed me to travel and see other places. My passport doesn’t like me as I’ve nearly lost it three times but now I need to make close friends with it.

I’m looking to the future and joining Emmaus Feniks in the Netherlands. I went for a week to see what it was like. They are really lovely companions and I was surprised at how much they welcomed me to their community.

I came back to Emmaus Mossley and gave some time to make my decision but I wanted a fresh challenge. I’m looking forward to most the work, making new friends and sharing my ideas with them. I won’t let them down, just as I’ve not let anyone down from Emmaus Mossley in the last five years.

I’ve got a lot of relationships built up with the customers of Emmaus Mossley and will miss them all. They are part of the Emmaus community as much as the companions are part of the Mossley community.