We are celebrating Trustees’ Week (7 – 11 November) by thanking all members of our board for the vital contribution they each make to the success of our charity.  

Trustees’ Week is an annual event to showcase the great work trustees do for charities up and down the UK.  

There are just over 1 million trustees in the UK and here at Emmaus Bradford, we’re lucky to have a supportive and dedicated board who bring a variety of skills and experience to help steer our work and develop our charity.  

Our trustees meet as a board several times a year. They each play a vital leadership role in our charity, working together to make important decisions and taking strategic responsibility for our work supporting people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.  

We decided to catch up with one of our trustees Janette and find out about her Emmaus journey so far. 

Tell us a bit about yourself… 

I was born in the Thornbury area of Bradford and moved to Bradford Moor when I was 11 years old. This is just across the main road from Pollard House, meaning I grew up in and went to school close to the Emmaus Community house. This is one reason why Pollard House is special to me. 

When I was nearly 19, I moved to Worcester to undertake Nurse Training. I lived there for four years, and during this time met and married my husband David, who is also a volunteer at Emmaus Bradford. 

I had a long nursing career (40years), working in Worcester, Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield. For 25 years of this time I worked in the lesser-known speciality of diagnostic and interventional radiology and cardiology, where for many years I was the senior nurse, managing the nursing and assistant teams until I retired in late 2006 

I have 2 adult children and 4 grandsons who I am lucky enough to get to see regularly. 


 How did you first hear of Emmaus? 

I regularly googled Homeless charities in Bradford, and this was the one that kept popping up, so I investigated it more. As soon as I saw that Pollard House were looking for volunteers, I knew this was the opportunity I had been looking for, and the right time to become involved 


What made you want to be an Emmaus Bradford trustee? 

Very early on after becoming a volunteer I knew that I wanted to be more deeply involved and on a long-term basis. I felt I had some skills and knowledge to offer and it could also enable me to fulfil a long-held hope to be active in supporting a homelessness cause, and what better one than Emmaus. 


What are you most looking forward to achieving as trustee at Emmaus Bradford? 

I am looking forward to being able to support the growth and development of Emmaus Bradford, whilst it undergoes an exciting period. In particular I look forward to seeing the Emmaus Community reach its full potential.  

I am also looking forward to and will work toward Emmaus achieving a more widely recognised and known charity status. 


What do you love most about Emmaus?   

I love the opportunities and self-worth it can give to people, whether they are companions, volunteers, or charity supporters. I also love the range of ways people can be involved whilst working to achieve the same goals. 


Can you sum up what Emmaus means in one sentence? 

Emmaus means that there is hope and a future for those that may previously have not dared to think possible 


What is your best second-hand purchase? 

A kitchen cupboard which was upcycled to match our kitchen. It doubles the storage space in our small kitchen and is therefore invaluable. 


What is your best piece of upcycling (if any)? 

My first ever piece: A Victorian nursing chair that I bought roughly 20 years ago. It is still in use every day, and I love it! 


How do you spend your time when you’re not working? 

As I am retired, I feel lucky to be able to partake in a range of activities and hobbies, whilst helping care for family, be that parents or grandchildren. 

There is always plenty to occupy me. 

My hobbies include floristry, gardening, crafts of all sorts e.g. knitting, sewing (mostly cross stitch), wood burning and upcycling, particularly the haberdashery side. Sea swimming and body boarding is essential when at the coast. Volunteering or Trustee work for Emmaus is also on the agenda now. 


What are your favourite places in and around Bradford? 

My front door is paces from the track onto woodland (made famous by the Cottingley fairies) They are so interesting all year round and we have spent many happy hours walking in them. 

With the grandchildren it has to be Victoria Park or the canal side in Saltaire, and for me Carlton Antiques in Salts Mill. 


Tell us something interesting about you. 

In my teens I was a champion speed swimmer and won lots of medals. My school team were English schools age group champions in the early 1970’s. This was a big deal at the time and was the biggest team accomplishment. In Personal competition a place in the North Eastern Counties finals ( top 6) was my level. 


Favourite quote? 

My father-in-law, in the late 1970’s , when he first met me said “she’s a wilful wench that one!” It is repeated even now with love and affection, even though he died several years ago. It makes me laugh and he loved me very much anyway.