Amy is originally from Manchester and came to Emmaus North East on New Year’s Eve 2020, one year after escaping a violent relationship. Amy now looks forward to a future where she can help other women who have experienced domestic violence.  

Before I came to Emmaus North East I was sofa surfing. Luckily, it was Christmas so I could stay at my sisters. I escaped a violent partner a year ago, so I’ve had it a bit tough. I’ve had to sleep in a train station a couple of times which was scary. You don’t get much sleep. That was just before the pandemic began. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, I managed to find places to stay. I first heard of Emmaus through a friend I knew 5 years ago who lived at Emmaus Salford.

“I think that Emmaus has done me the world of good. It’s what I needed, away from Manchester.”

I’ve made all my family proud since I’ve been here. They were hurt that I’d left Manchester but once they realised that I was actually starting to focus on myself, they were really proud of me. My sister bought me a new phone for Christmas so I can video chat with her and see my nephews.

I love South Shields and the beach. I’ve walked down the beach in winter. It was a clear day and it was beautiful. I did have a bit of a wobble and got really homesick, but I’ve got two really good friends here now and I feel like I am settling in. I’m currently the only female companion here. All the other companions are brilliant with me. I get on great with everybody. I treated them once and made them all some scones a week ago as the companions never have anything like that. I’m making them a Victoria Sponge this afternoon!

“I’m doing courses and trying to better myself for when I do eventually leave Emmaus North East. I’ve been doing healthcare courses and I’ll be doing a mental health course as I want to help women who have experienced domestic violence.”

I want to become a councillor and be able to speak to the police about what changes they can make for people who are going through domestic violence. I’d like to become a spokesperson. I’ve got a number for a domestic violence organisation and I think I am going to be training with them as part of my work. I want to make something good come out of something bad.

“In the future I would like to get a good job in care work and maybe work at a care home, alongside voluntary work for domestic violence.”

I’ve not been able to work in any of the Emmaus shops yet as there has been a lockdown on since I joined Emmaus, but I can’t wait to start. I’ve been a bit of a spokesperson for the companions during lockdown. I arranged a film night, I’ve got them to do a bingo night. We’re doing our second quiz today. Someone’s got to keep them all in check!