Currently, companions have the option to work in one of the three charity shops selling furniture and goods, supporting the eBay charity shop, helping sort bric-a brac, clothes and goods, working on the vans and in the warehouse to deliver and collect goods, and taking part in house clearances. Other roles include cleaning and cooking.
Each companion will work with the support team to identify any services they may require for physical and mental health, dependencies, immigration status, ID, family issues and much more.
When a companion has gained experience in their role and begun to recover from the trauma of homelessness, the support team will help them progress within Emmaus and then to move-on, identifying and referring them to external training or work experience so that they can gain sustainable employment. For some companions, moving on into the competetive and expensive private rental market may seem daunting. For that reason, Emmaus Bristol does not have a time limit on a companion’s stay. We also recognise that while some will be keen to head back to independent living quickly, others may need more time. Emmaus is a home for as long as it’s needed, as long as you can follow the simple rules in the licence agreement.
Each companion signs a license agreement which sets out realistic and manageable expectations to ensure that they and their peers have a happy stay in the accommodation and when working in the social enterprises. Those that do not adhere to the license agreement face a warning system that can lead to ending their license agreement, but this does not happen too often! Over the last three years 93% of companions successfuly managed their licence agreements.
Companions sign off most benefits. The exceptions are housing benefit if they are entitled to it, though we also have companions with no recourse to public funds, and non means-tested benefits like PIP. Instead of benefits Emmaus Bristol pays a living allowance plus travel and holiday money, and savings to each companion.
This is what Emmaus Bristol provides, and what is expected of a companion.
Emmaus Bristol will provide
The companion will:
For those that wish to apply to become a companion, they can self-refer or be referred by a professional. All they have to do is fill in the online application form.
The support team will get back to you as soon as they can and let you know if they have any vacancies. They will chat to you, complete a risk assessment with you and if Emmaus seems to be a fit, they will invite you to a trial day (or currently a distanced interview, due to Covid 19 risks). Anyone who moves in will need to have a lateral flow test first to exclude Covid -19 and they will need to agree to come off all welfare benefits other than housing benefit.
If you are interested in joining other Emmaus Communities, not only Bristol, please apply to Emmaus UK so your referral can be shared to all communities with vacancies.
If you are in Bristol and need emergency accommodation please contact the council.
Diversity is hugely important to Emmaus locally and globally. We actively encourage people from all ethnicities, backgrounds and genders to apply. We accept people without recourse to public funds. However, due to the buildings we currently have, we are unable to cater for those in wheelchairs. We hope that in the future we can.