Thursday 9 November 2017

Emmaus UK Celebrates Trustees' Week

spike

To highlight the vital work of trustees across the country in celebration of Trustees' Week, Emmaus UK has shared the story of formerly homeless Michael Spike Hudson and his work as trustee at Emmaus Gloucestershire.

At 17, Spike left his family home and spent 10 years drifting across the UK. Heavily involved with drink and drugs, Spike alternated between sleeping rough and in hostels. A run-in with police led to Spike moving to London, where he eventually took up a resident rep role in a hostel he was living in.

Spike’s role as a rep led him to work with Emmaus UK on a research project, which looked to identify ways to end homelessness. Spike discovered that the community values resonated with him, and took the opportunity to get involved in Gloucester as a trustee. Today, Spike uses his experience of homelessness to help others that are in the same position as he once was.

Commenting on his role in Emmaus, Spike said:

"Being homeless myself I can honestly say that Emmaus are an organisation working hard to address the real needs of homeless people. There are lots of people who feel like they should give more, and the role of an Emmaus trustee is a great way to share skills and experience to help make a difference to a positive cause. Before I was always trying to take from the world; the more drugs I took, the emptier I felt. Now, the more I give, the better I feel."

Trustees are hugely important to Emmaus. They volunteer their time and bring a wide variety of skills and experience to the organisation. With the support of Emmaus, others in Spike’s position have the opportunity to turn their life around.

Simon Grainge, Chief Executive of Emmaus UK said: 

"Trustees are vital to the work of Emmaus. Without their support, scrutiny and challenge we would not be able to operate effectively. The role of a trustee can be demanding but ultimately very rewarding; I take my hat off to those who rise to the challenge. I hope Spike’s story highlights how important the role of a trustee is in making a difference to more homeless people in the UK."

Trustees’ Week 2017 celebrates over 1 million UK trustees and promotes the benefits of volunteering to be a trustee.

There are currently 29 Emmaus communities across the country, supporting more than 800 companions in the UK. In addition there are four Emmaus groups, all of which are working towards setting up an Emmaus community in their area. Emmaus aims to offer 1,000 companion places by 2020.