Extra special Father's Day weekend at Emmaus
Father’s Day was an extra special weekend for one companion at Emmaus South Wales this year. “Being woken up to breakfast in bed with toast that spelt out ‘daddy I love you’ is something that will stay with me for a long time”, Marc explains.
Marc, 51, joined Emmaus South Wales after being released from prison in September last year. “I first became homeless as a result of my drug addiction. I was sofa surfing and over time, one thing led to another and I found myself in prison” he explains.
In prison Marc worked hard to overcome his addiction and built a stronger relationship with his partner and 11 year old daughter, Maddison. “The support I was given in prison was wonderful, and I really am grateful. They worked hard to make sure I had time with my daughter and we went on a number of classes and courses together.”
On one occasion, to celebrate Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday, the prison arranged for two illustrators and a professional storyteller to help them write, illustrate and publish a book. They joined two other inmates and their children to write ‘The Finding of the Hoojamaflipflangesprocket’.
“It was brilliant. Maddison has always been a keen reader and her favourite author is Jacqueline Wilson. She loves being able to tell her friends that she has her own published book. My copy of it takes pride of place in my room here at the community.” Marc adds.
Ahead of his release from prison Marc was referred to Emmaus South Wales. Marc and his family decided it was best for him to join the community as a way to reintegrate him back into society and with his family.
“I hadn’t heard of Emmaus before I was referred to them in prison. But, since I’ve been at the community I’ve been so impressed by the supportive structure around me. I can’t thank the community enough for how helpful they’ve been in making sure I’m given valuable time with my daughter. She spends every Saturday with me, and to be honest she’s as much a part of the community now as the other companions. It’s fantastic.”
This year the community invited Marc’s family to stay in the guest room for the Father’s Day weekend. “I couldn’t have wished for anything better” Marc describes. “They came down on the Friday and left on the Sunday evening. The weather was beautiful all weekend; so on the Saturday we decided to spend the day at the beach in Porthcawl. For us all to be together on Father’s Day was special for me, and I’ll always be grateful to the community.”
Looking forward Marc is taking it one step at a time: “I love working here at the community. You’re allowed to do so many different roles that are always teaching new skills. I’m looking forward to completing a roadwork training course that will allow me to work in this field again in the future.”
“For the time being I’m just focusing on ensuring I’m there for Maddison. I’m in a safe and supportive environment and I’m being given the chance to put myself in the best position going forward in the future.”