Tuesday 11 February 2014

Lawyers choose Emmaus as charity of the year

Cambridge Mark Boden 140513 dogs

Partners and staff from legal firm Charles Russell LLP have voted for Emmaus as their 'Charity of the Year', after meeting an Emmaus companion.

The top 50 legal firm – with offices in Guildford, Cheltenham and London – held an open day for representatives from Emmaus to go and speak with members of staff, giving opportunity to explain what Emmaus does.

Mark Boden, now a deputy manager-in-training at the Emmaus community in Cambridge, visited Charles Russell offices in Guildford and London.

Mark, 39, joined Emmaus in Cambridge six years ago, and since then, has not only left drug use way behind him, but has won a prize for his charity work and travelled to Benin, West Africa to see the project he supports there, in addition to projects he has worked with in Cologne, Germany and Villafranca, Italy.

Mark said: “It can sometimes be tough thinking about my past. I feel awkward talking about it, because I am such a different person now, but sometimes to convince people of what Emmaus can do, you have to give a little of yourself away. Emmaus saved my life, as simple as that.

“Emmaus gave me the chance to step up, take responsibility and also showed me that helping other people can really be a rewarding thing. My past problems are not a waste of time. Instead, I use those experiences to help other people when they are in trouble.”

Employees from Charles Russell hope to help refurbish a site at the Emmaus Gloucestershire community, and to sort clothing in the charity’s new ‘Emmaus Textiles’ site in Redditch. Ten cyclists are undertaking a 100-mile ride for Emmaus UK and others have committed to donating goods to the charity’s shops, and yet more willing volunteers will hold a fundraiser on pancake day.

Senior Partner and Chair of the CSR committee, Christopher Page said: "We are very pleased that Emmaus UK will be at the centre of our charitable fundraising for 2014. We look forward to supporting Emmaus in the UK and hope that our contributions to the work they do providing shelter and a chance of meaningful work for those who have fallen on hard times will enable the furtherance of their work.”