Before Emmaus, my life was very unsettled. I had always enjoyed working and I was proud of myself when I landed my first job aged 15. However, years later I took a job laying tarmac for local travellers in Milton Keynes and I found myself in a very dark place. I was forced to do 13/14 hours a day, often without food; it felt like slavery. I tried running away once, but my employers managed to track me down and I had to return. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before the site was raided and shut down by the police, and I was free. Free, but with noone to turn to and nowhere to go.
After rough sleeping for a couple of nights, I got in touch with a local church who offered me shelter. They asked me whether I would like to work again, and after a huge ‘yes’ from me, they pointed me in the direction of Emmaus St Albans. When I first walked in, I thought to myself ‘wow’. Within two days of visiting the community, I had moved in and after a month or so of rest, I was ready and excited to start working. I had previous experience working as a kitchen porter, so it made sense for me to head back to the kitchen; it was a natural fit, and something I still enjoy doing today, seven and a half years later.
After a short while, Emmaus St Albans felt like my home. I have lots of friends, I’m in regular contact with my siblings and I’m finally standing on my own two feet again.
I would like to say a huge thank you – and extend a big hug – to the Emmaus Hertfordshire supporters. You’ve drastically helped improve my life and you’ve built my confidence but most importantly, you’ve given me a reason to live.”