Commmuity Leader Dave Perry brings us up to date with what has been happening over the summer at Emmaus Bristol.
The summer holidays have come and gone and we have made the most of them! Staff have taken holidays, and Companions too. It’s one of the benefits of being part of an Emmaus Community that each Companion has an allocation of a long weekend, and one or two weeks holiday, depending on how long they have been part of the Community. They receive an allowance to help get them somewhere nice, and an extra cash allowance for the longer holidays. Places visited recently include Devon, Preston, Durham, Mossley near Manchester, Bournemouth and Canada.
Other benefits of Community life include an en-suite room, marvellous and plentiful food (cooked by a Companion), toiletries, training courses, and support to deal with those difficulties which have caused so much pain for many. There is also a weekly cash allowance and money put away into a savings account for each Companion.
The important thing, though, for all in Emmaus Bristol is not “What can Emmaus do for me?” but “What can I do for Emmaus and others?” This comes, of course, directly from Abbe Pierre’s words, and illustrates what is unique about Emmaus. Companions are not “poor unfortunates who need shelter and food” but vital human resources and activists in the daily work to improve people’s lives and fight injustice. Companions are involved in many local initiatives; in local schools, with the local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, the Methodist Centre, Soup Run, Churches and local charity events.
It’s not all work though. Many Companions have not previously had the opportunity for leisure time, so we encourage them to get out and about. Recent outings they have organised include the cinema, fishing, sailing in our dinghy, days out at the Cotswold Water Park and Weston-super-Mare, walking at Ashton Court and attending the Bristol Balloon Fiesta. One Companion even had a trip to the seaside at Minehead by using a “Day Rider” bus ticket!
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