Without John (affectionately known as Maintenance John) Emmaus Bristol would be an altogether shabbier place!
“I’m a lift engineer by trade and can turn my hand to most practical jobs – painting , decorating, plumbing, electrical. I left the engineering due to health issues. I miss the work – but not being out on building sites in all weathers!
“Looking back, I’ve had a problem with alcohol for most of my adult life, without ever admitting it. The drink gradually took over my life and contributed to the break-up of my marriage, but it wasn’t until I nearly got run over by a bus after a day of continuous drinking that I accepted that I needed help and went to see a doctor. It took a while, but I ended up spending five months in rehab in Bristol and then, when I came out of treatment, in a dry house, looking for voluntary work. I found a job with the Sisters of the Church in St Pauls – which I love! – and at the City Farm in St Werberghs, and then someone suggested that I contact Emmaus for my other free days. I sent in my CV, had an interview and haven’t looked back since. I’ve installed and repaired taps, showers and toilets, mended a leaking roof and decorated a couple of the offices – and I also help out in the electrical department when they are short-handed.
“I think Emmaus is an absolutely wonderful organisation. I’d never heard of it before I came, but I’ve discovered that the work it does is amazing and helps lots of people. It’s great to be able to use my skills to help in the business and in the Community. And with my own past experience, I ‘m more than willing to talk to any Companion who thinks they may have a drink or drug problem, if they think it might help. I’ve been there and I know what it’s like.”