Ivy's Story


I feel like a blossoming flower and it’s all thanks to Emmaus. That might sound a bit crazy but for a long time I existed on auto-pilot. I’m a quiet person and I keep myself to myself.

When my son left home I found myself with more time on my hands. I looked around for work, and took a position as a lunchtime supervisor in a school. I’m still doing this job and it’s lively work but, I wouldn’t say I have found it that fulfilling.

It was when I was walking home from Chrisp Street Market that I spotted the poster in the window of the Emmaus shop, asking for volunteers. On the spur of the moment I went in and put my name down. Since then, things have just gone from strength to strength.

When I was younger I always wanted to work in a shop, but what with one thing and another I never really did it. Now I am already talking to customers, using the till and steaming and arranging the clothes. It’s incredible and I just love the atmosphere. The team is great, and everyone has welcomed me with open arms.

My children have noticed a real difference in me, mostly because I spring out of bed in the mornings – I am keen to get to work, and I have so much more confidence. My daughter can’t stop congratulating me!

I truly enjoy coming here to volunteer more than I’ve enjoyed any other job. That’s partly because of the new experience I’m gaining, but also knowing that everything I do is helping someone who has been homeless. This job has given me my life back, and I know that I am helping give someone a home back – it’s just fantastic.