Henry's story

Bolton companion Henry Westcott behind till 131217

Emmaus saved my life. That might sound dramatic, but 10 years ago I had nothing. I was living on the streets of Cambridge, drinking, taking drugs and begging. It’s not that I fell into the wrong crowd as such. It was my own decision, no one else was to blame.

I was an alcoholic, and every penny I had went on drink and drugs. I first heard of Emmaus when my friend went there and I went along to support him through his assessment. I loved it. The community leaders were really nice and I saw it could be a really good place to start your life over, but it wasn’t the right time for me.

Then, at the beginning of 2002, I had a motorbike accident. I hit a car door that was open and my injuries were so bad I had to have my spleen removed and metal plates in my elbow. I was in a coma for a time. My key worker came to see me in hospital and asked me what I was going to do with my life - and suggested that I try Emmaus.

I’d had my spleen out, I had a big scar down my stomach and plates in my elbow and I knew I couldn’t keep going like I was. It wasn’t good for my family either - they thought I would be dead the next day if I went back on the street.

Emmaus clicked for me straight away. People were lovely, but also tough, which they had to be. In 2008, I moved to Emmaus in Bolton to be nearer to my family.

I love working in the shop and interacting with people. I have my regular customers that come in, I give them a good deal and they keep coming back. It’s helped me develop my personal skills so much. I’m just glad I could get myself out of the life I used to live. I would definitely be dead now, if I hadn’t.