Greater Manchester Homelessness Oct 2014

Emmaus Salford Welcomes First Companion

Emmaus Salford has welcomed the first resident to its new community home in Fitzwarren Street.

The need

Harry Dixon, 53, has been travelling to Salford from Burnley on the bus five times a week for the last year, working alongside volunteers from Network Rail, helping to clean, decorate and maintain the former council property.

His passion for the blossoming Salford community springs from the fact that he was brought up in the local area, and has always been keen to return.

A tough childhood saw Harry homeless and on the move from a young age, spending time in care homes before travelling to London, where he worked as a banqueting porter for several years.

The solution

After returning north Harry spent time with his dad learning the tricks of the decorating trade, which he has put to good use at Emmaus Salford.

The charity eventually plans to house 26 people, and is continuing to fundraise via projects such as the Lloyds Community Fund, which donates money to worthwhile local causes. Trustee Pauline Lewis explained:

“You can vote from your sofa: by text, by going to the website, and on Twitter. If you prefer, you can vote by going in to your local branch. This kind of funding is essential so that we can help more people like Harry.”

Pauline Lewis

Trustee at Emmaus Salford

Harry has lived at a number of Emmaus communities throughout the years. His health problems – which include epilepsy, high blood pressure, insulin-dependant diabetes and depression – mean that a steady roof over his head is of utmost importance.

“I am so happy that I have been able to give back to Salford, and especially that I’ve been able to come back to this area. I think it’s important that as an Emmaus old-timer I welcome people and help them learn the ropes. Eventually I’d like to move on and help Emmaus in the North East when they open their community, like a roving Mr Fix-it. I’m keen to go there in a year or two to be closer to my brother and sister and their children.”

Harry

Companion at Emmaus Salford

“We are so proud of all that Harry has done in getting everything shipshape and ready to go. The fact that he is our first companion is a fitting way for us to say thank you for all his hard work. I am sure he will be happy at Emmaus Salford and being an “Old Timer” as he puts it will enable him to get our new companions in Emmaus Salford to settle in well.”

Val Burgoyne

Chair of Emmaus Salford

“I am so happy that I have been able to give back to Salford, and especially that I’ve been able to come back to this area. I think it’s important that as an Emmaus old-timer I welcome people and help them learn the ropes. Eventually I’d like to move on and help Emmaus in the North East when they open their community, like a roving Mr Fix-it. I’m keen to go there in a year or two to be closer to my brother and sister and their children.”

Harry

Companion at Emmaus Salford

“We are so proud of all that Harry has done in getting everything shipshape and ready to go. The fact that he is our first companion is a fitting way for us to say thank you for all his hard work. I am sure he will be happy at Emmaus Salford and being an “Old Timer” as he puts it will enable him to get our new companions in Emmaus Salford to settle in well.”

Val Burgoyne

Chair of Emmaus Salford

The social impact

Harry regained contact with his family four years ago, after a harrowing attack in London left him hospitalised. Since that time, Harry has continued to live in Emmaus communities, drawing on the support of other companions and staff who helped him get through the ordeal. He is keen to see Emmaus Salford flourish.

To donate goods, find out more or to visit the community or shop, please call Simon Locke on 0161 737 8279 or email simonlocke.emmaus@hotmail.com

“My brother and aunt saw a story about me in the paper and got in touch. I’d been to London to help with Crisis at Christmas. I was out celebrating New Year’s with a few friends when someone attacked me with a bottle. I was lucky not to lose an eye. When I left hospital, they didn’t have any clothes left that fit me, and mine had all been taken away for forensic tests. I left in pyjama bottoms, slip-on shoes and a jumper. We need people to shop, donate and give us money where they can. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Emmaus.”

Harry

Companion at Emmaus Salford

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