Former homeless man volunteers at Coventry charity shop  - The Coventry Observer

Former homeless man volunteers at Coventry charity shop 

Holly Clement 13th Jun, 2024   0

A FORMER homeless man now volunteers for a Coventry homelessness charity to support those in need.

During national volunteers week (June 3-9) Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire called for local people to join its team and help run its charity shop on Red Lane.

The charity provides accommodation, support and work opportunities for up to 17 people who have faced homelessness.

Matt Postlethwaite, who experienced homelessness, received support from the organisation and has now returned to give back to those who once helped him.

Matt said: “Becoming homeless was a massive shock, the first night was terrifying.

“It was the city I had grown up in, so I knew it like the back of my hand, but it felt completely different when I was trying to find somewhere safe to sleep.

“I carried my whole life in my bag, which took its toll.

“I often didn’t speak to anyone for hours on end, I didn’t like begging, but I had to do it.

“People would walk around me and avoid eye contact; they wouldn’t see me as a human being.”

After months on the streets, Matt looked for help from a rehab charity and was then supported by Emmaus until he lived independently again.

“After I moved out, I started volunteering at Emmaus for one day each week, helping out in the charity shop serving customers. For me, volunteering is a way to give back.

“I’d recommend it because no day is the same and it’s a lovely bunch of people. It looks good on your CV and you know that every penny you’re making in the shop is going to a good cause.”

Emmaus relies heavily on volunteers to operate its charity shop and provide essential services to those in need.

Emmaus Coventry & Warwickshire community leader Falishia Channer said: “Homelessness is still a big issue, especially with the way things are financially right now.

“Our Coventry shop is really important because it raises the funds we need to help people turn their lives around.

“Volunteers are such a valuable part of our team, and we’re always looking for more local people to join us. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, retired, or just have some time to spare – everyone’s welcome.”

Visit: or call 024 7666 1466 to find out more.


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