I’m Simon Blakeley and I joined Emmaus Bradford as a trustee in February 2022. I am a solicitor and I have worked for firms in Bradford for almost all of the 40 years of my career; for the last 16 years I have owned my own firm. I am also chairman of a charity based in Bradford that provides grants to other charities and local community groups in the city of Bradford.

How I became a trustee at Emmaus Bradford

I met the leader of the board of trustees at Emmaus Bradford, Sarah Dixon, and she told me about Emmaus – wearing my other charity hat I said we could probably assist with the work on the community building, Pollard House, (we could!) and it went from there; Sarah invited me to become a trustee! I have always been committed to helping people in Bradford (I love the place!) and I thought I might be able to help, or rather Sarah thought I might be able to help!

Helping build a community

I’m most looking forward to getting Pollard House open and full, and contributing whatever I can to the growth of Emmaus in Bradford. What I love most about Emmaus is the ethos of helping others and at the same time ensuring that people can help themselves. Emmaus is helping others through their difficult times to learn and develop so that they can help themselves and others, following on.

My hopes for the future are that I can learn more about my role as a trustee, I joined at the start on 2022, and then help Emmaus Bradford develop, anything else would be presumptuous of me at this stage.

Simon’s Factfile:

  • Best secondhand purchase:  The last piece of West German pottery I bought!! I am developing a collection (my daughters say it is becoming an obsession!!).
  • Best piece of upcycling: My John Players Navy Cut cigarette shipping crate, which is now my dirty linen basket
  • Top pastime: Going round antiques centres and fairs, walking, running round after my daughters (even though they are 27 and 21!), watching Bradford Bulls and working (I am a workaholic!
  • Favourite places in and around Bradford: Odsal Stadium where I can watch the Bulls and walking on the moors
  • Tell us something interesting about you: You’ll have to read my memoirs for that! The Life and Times of a Bradford Solicitor – it isn’t written yet and I’m still collecting stories
  • Favourite quote or song lyric: My favourite film is The Blues Brothers – any of the songs from that.  And the quote from my Dad, when I was still at school and not doing too well academically – I spent more time rowing and watching sport than on my academic work – “When you play, play hard. When you work, don’t play at all!”

Emmaus is on the look out for trustees with experience in adult social care managementhomelessness 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 sarah@emmausbradford.org.uk