My name is Ian Andrews-Swailes and I became a trustee at Emmaus Bradford at the end of 2021. I was born and raised in Bradford. I’m a serial entrepreneur with 30 years of experience of building and developing businesses within Bradford and Leeds.

The most relevant to Emmaus is my estate agency, with property management of up to 350 residential properties and 100 commercial properties. Prior to developing my business career, I trained and completed two apprenticeships to become a joiner and plumber. I spent several years working for many companies, which has given me a broad range of business perspectives, in both commercial and charitable sectors.

After an industrial accident my mobility was affected and therefore after some re-evaluation, I enrolled and completed a foundation degree. It was daunting at the age of 44, but the new challenge broadened my horizons, updated my knowledge and really deepened my involvement within the Bradford community. Following this, I moved onto study a BSc in Marketing, and finally was successful in completing an LLM (masters degree in law), all studied at the University of Bradford and completed at the age 49. During this time, the Chartered Institute of Marketing assessed my history and awarded me a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Marketing (FCIM).

I use this broad spectrum of practical skills, academic learning and business experience in all aspects of my roles within my own business and within the community, I am currently chair of Saltaire Festival board, a role which is both challenging and rewarding.

How I became involved in Emmaus

I was aware of Emmaus due to the retail shop in Bradford city centre. Then recently I saw a post on social media about Emmaus. They were seeking someone who had property knowledge. I felt that, due to my property management experience and my trade background, I could offer something to this role.

I have always supported charities. I used to run an annual event in Leeds, where I put bands on in the city centre and all proceeds went to a selected charity. When I looked into Emmaus, I felt like I was a piece of the jigsaw, as I have a vast amount of experience with both tenants and properties. I wrote the initial tenancy agreements for the first asylum seekers agreements in the area, in 1999, for the Home Office.

I am a people person and I am passionate about the prospect of helping people to turn their lives around. Being a member of the Bradford community, I am well aware of the challenges the area faces due to deprivation and inequality, and the stumbling blocks this causes for some members of our community.

What I love most about being a trustee

I love the Emmaus model of providing homes and employment to people that just need a chance.

What I love most about Emmaus, are the smiles of people that work there. I am a very strong supporter of circular economy and I love the fact that these products are not going to landfill, but they are resold and go to new homes, while helping to fund such important work.

Emmaus catches fallen people and supports them until they feel like the valued member of society they are.

My hopes for Emmaus Bradford over the coming year are to see results in transforming peoples lives and seeing them happy and fulfilled. In these particularly challenging times the work Emmaus does is even more important and I hope I can be a positive part of that.

Ian’s Factfile

  • Best second hand purchase: A solid oak antique cabinet, a very good find and perfectly fits in with my retro décor.
  • Best piece of upcycling: I used to own Bradford Antique Centre and Victoria Discount furniture. I spent many hours stripping paint from bedrooms suites and bringing out the natural beauty of the wood.
  • Top pastime: I am an entrepreneur so I find it difficult to switch off so I spend a lot of time helping young people who want to start businesses, I have been to China with an entrepreneur programme to mentor students there.
  • Favourite places in and around Bradford: My favourite place in Bradford is Saltaire, I love the history of Titus Salt. As mentioned, I am the Chair of Saltaire festival which is an annual event of music, history and art.
  • Tell us something interesting about you: I play trumpet and sing. I have gigged all over the country. I have also run a PR company and some of my clients included some former X Factor contestants.
  • Favourite quote or song lyrics: My favourite song is Hotel California by the Eagles. No quotes but I love the melody.

Emmaus is on the look out for trustees with experience in adult social care management, homelessness support services, or strategic marketing and fundraising to volunteer to help support our charity to end homelessness in Bradford. To find out more, please visit our trustees role on the volunteers page of our website or contact the chair