Patrick Doyle – Patron
My inspiration stems from the vision of Emmaus’s founder, Abbe Pierre, and the work at St Charles ‘Drop In’. After many years in public life, it is both good and humbling to help organise a ‘bottom up’ project from scratch with all its challenges and rewards.
In a long career in housing and social care, it has been clear to me that some aspects of homelessness appear to be unchanging. First of all, long-term homelessness is so often accompanied by a severe medical or social problem. Secondly, if the homeless person isn’t already unemployed they soon will be. Thirdly, the most vulnerable people tend to receive the worst housing deal – even in a public housing system based on need. So it made perfect sense to assist with a housing project which attempts to tackle housing, employment and care simultaneously.
Chris O’Donnell – Chair
I first became aware of the real difficulties faced by the homeless community on a Business in the Community visit in London. As a result, my company helped support a day centre for homeless young people at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. My wife Mia introduced me to Emmaus which does a remarkable job in converting homeless people into contributing members of Society – we became supporters of the need to provide an Emmaus community in Hull and are working hard to achieve this as soon as possible.
Shelter, water, food. Denial of these three fundamental needs to any human seems to me to be morally unacceptable. A “moving on from homelessness’ flier fell out of the Catholic Herald. It had a brilliant strapline – “A bed and a reason to get out of it!” : I forget how many times this happened before I realised it was speaking to me. Why Hull? We’d lived in the area for 12 years : we knew the need there.
I am retiring as a Chartered Accountant on 30/06/2017 after more than 47 years’ service with two local firms. I should like to devote part of my time to Emmaus Hull, having been involved in the Charity over the last 18 months or so. I share the values of the Charity particularly with regard to cherishing independence but supporting and fostering interdependence. I feel that I can make that statement from my own experiences. It is wonderful that people who have become homeless for whatever reason, have an opportunity to regain their lost esteem and having spoken to various companions, it is heart-warming how they tell me that they owe everything to Emmaus and in turn they want to help the Charity improve itself by looking at ways it can become more efficient in its operations. Generally speaking it is extremely sad and worrying that esteem is disappearing from the modern society. It is also embarrassing for the country that people are queuing at food banks to get food for their families to survive. We need a fairer society and I call upon politicians to re think their policies in modern times. I am honoured to be asked to become a trustee of Emmaus Hull and to make a contribution to those in need, whether this is brought about by being under-privileged, as a victim of social injustice or otherwise.
I am thrilled to be joining the Emmaus Hull & East Riding board of Trustees, the charity is close to my heart and makes a real difference in Hull & East Rising tackling homelessness and social isolation. I am looking forward to coming months and getting involved, supporting Emmaus companions and staff.”
It’s unacceptable that anyone should ever be without a roof over their heads. Emmaus is an incredible organisation, campaigning on many levels to tackle this issue, and providing much needed, positive support for those in need. I’m very pleased to be part of it and to contribute to its cause. As one of the founding H’s at H&H – an internal communications and employee engagement agency – I’m fascinated by the way people communicate and interact and how it can positively impact lives. Having come from a marketing and brand background, my experience spans many areas of organisational communications. And I can’t wait to use that experience for the benefit of Emmaus.