Taylor is the Premises and Vehicles Coordinator at Emmaus Bristol and joined us in 2019. His job involves everything health and safety or maintenance related. We spoke to Taylor to find out more about his role and working at Emmaus. Continue reading to find out more!
“Before applying for the role, I didn’t know anything about Emmaus. I’d been looking for a new job and already had one lined up when I saw the ad for Emmaus Bristol. I’m from Portland, Oregon, and there’s a huge problem with homelessness there so it’s something I feel quite passionate about. I applied on a whim, got an interview, and then got the job the same day.
Typical day at Emmaus Bristol
I look after all the Emmaus Bristol sites and a typical day for me is quite varied. A relatively calm day starts with a walk around at our Stokes Croft site to do routine health and safety checks that I’ve built in on a weekly basis like testing the fire alarms. Then I’ll go through my emails and the maintenance list before going where I’m needed and starting the jobs I’ve got lined up. It could be anything from fitting a lightbulb, going to another site for checks, or getting quotes from contractors for work. There’s always something that needs repairing and it can vary day-by-day.
A day that’s gone bad would be anything to do with burst pipes, a leak in someone’s ceiling, or a property that loses hot water. These are all things that need to be sorted right then and there and most likely need contractors in the same day, which is a challenge. Any time a van breaks down is also a nightmare day! A lot of my role is balancing emergencies with the jobs that are already on my list to do like replacing or repairing something or jobs that need to be done on a weekly or monthly basis to make sure we stay in line with health and safety like booking services for the fire system and boilers or inspecting the fire doors and extinguishers.
Working as part of a team
Both the staff and companion teams at Emmaus Bristol are absolutely great. I’m the only one doing my role, so I’m sort of on my own if I have a big project like repainting a house but the companions always step up and come to help when I need an extra pair of hands. They’re fantastic. Coming up, I’ve got lots of jobs on the go. My biggest future project is looking into getting secure bike storage in our yard, so we have enough space for everyone to store their bikes.
My favourite thing about working at Emmaus Bristol is being able to see where my work goes. In previous jobs, I’ve worked and worked but didn’t really see the effect it had. At Emmaus, I can.
It doesn’t happen every single day, but one example is from three months after I started. We had a vacant room at Shaftesbury House, which is our main residential site, and the room was left in a mess from the previous person. I went in, repainted, deep cleaned everything, and got it all ready and nice for someone to move in. Then somebody did move in and being able to see that person, who had been living on the streets, come and have a warm, safe environment to be in was really good. It’s just little things like that; I get to see that my work is going somewhere and helping people. I can’t think of many jobs that have given me the same feeling.”
Taylor represented Emmaus Bristol at the Emmaus World Assembly, held in Uruguay in 2022. Read more about the Emmaus World Assembly here.