My name is Chris and I have been a Companion at Emmaus Bristol since April this year. As part of my support programme it was decided that furthering my knowledge and experience of Emmaus Communities would benefit my progress. So it followed that after attending our National Assembly I would spend a couple of weeks at Emmaus Leeds. Leeds was experiencing a temporary shortfall in their Community Assistant (CA) capacity, and my role was to be that of acting CA.
A CA is a Companion with a greater responsibility within the Community, and has additional duties to those of other Companions yet on the whole remains at the Companion level.
After an excellent Assembly I duly travelled with the Emmaus Leeds delegation to their Community and was promptly given the Monday off! So, working Tuesday to Saturday I was working in the kitchen and tending their allotment, as I had in Bristol. When ‘on call’, I was responsible for ensuring the safety and security of both buildings and Companions until the following morning, with a member of staff always at the end of a telephone if needed.
I have to say that Emmaus Leeds was an excellent experience and my welcome from all at the Community was exemplary. The extra duties were no burden; no alarms went off and no Companions unruly, honestly!
After two weeks, I was asked to stay for a further two. I accepted but when asked to remain further, I drew the line and returned to Bristol, where I am happiest. I would strongly recommend trying other Communities and responsibilities, since when helping others we also help ourselves. Huge thanks go to my Support Team here at Emmaus Bristol and all at Emmaus Leeds for the opportunity to grow within the organisation, grow within myself and make wonderful new friends.