My name is Musty (Mustafa) and I’ve been working in the Finance Department at Emmaus Preston since April 2021 as part of the government’s Kickstart Scheme to help young people find work.

I’ve had a lot of part time jobs in the past. I’ve been a waiter for a Chinese in town, a sales assistant, I’ve sold desserts and waffles, and been a warehouse operative working over Christmas for Amazon.

During lockdown I started selling shoes on Instagram, like the limited-edition ones you can buy from Nike. I’ve got entertainment lights and I like taking pictures so, say the shoes are red and white, I set the lights to pink and white and it brings certain qualities out in them in the photos. I sell them on, and it lasted me through lockdown.

Because of the pandemic, I didn’t get chance to sit my A Level exams and didn’t take the mocks as seriously as I could have, so, unlike my GCSE exams when I came out with A*s, As and Bs during the actual exams, I didn’t get the grades that I wanted and because of lockdown I couldn’t get a job.

Getting a buzz out of work

Initially I wanted to study law, but then I thought accounts would be better to go into as it is one of the main parts of every business. I’d been accepted by a financial recruitment company when the opportunity to work in finance for Emmaus came along and it appealed to me as a long-term placement. The interview was all online, and Stephen and Lynne seemed really nice. They offered me the job the same day, I was buzzing!

I had seen Emmaus before. At first, I thought it was just a shop for older people, as I’d never been inside. Before the interview, I did my research and it got me a lot more into the job, because it’s helping people.

When I started here and got to know everyone, they’re all really nice. Every day is different. There’s always something going on which makes the job much better.

Volunteers don’t just come here, they enjoy it

I can see how Emmaus has made life better for the formerly homeless people it supports, known as companions. It’s benefitting them at the end of the day. People have started here as volunteers. One volunteer is living here and really happy now. I’ve met a lot of the volunteers and discovered that they don’t just come here to help, but they enjoy it too.

During my first few months I’ve learned a LOT! I hadn’t studied accounts before, but Lynn is always there for any questions I have. I’m with her five days a week, all day. All the companions are really friendly as well. We all have a laugh and even pull a few pranks.

I’m studying at Preston College, doing my AAT in accounts, after getting 100% in my assessment to get in. We agreed that I’d do a day release and I can continue to Level 3 then Level 4 to expand my knowledge of the subject. It’ll be really good to go to college for the different environment, and I’ll be able to do more with what I learn at Emmaus.

Study time to progress

I like the different aspects of the job at Emmaus. Not only am I learning new things, but I’m also helping the companions. One of them came up to me because he wanted a new controller for a games console and was pretty happy that I could help.

I’ve also been able to help new staff. Two new members of staff started a few months after me and I took them around Emmaus to show them the stock count and pricing. It’s nice getting out and about, meeting other people, helping the companions and having a laugh.

I’d say to anyone that Emmaus Preston is a good opportunity and you will enjoy being here. I wouldn’t be as comfortable as I would be working in another place, and I wouldn’t have the same knowledge. To people like me, think, your future self is depending on you now. I try to do everything I can, to do the best that I can. That keeps me motivated.

To find out more about the roles available at Emmaus Preston, please contact Karen on 01772 796622 or e-mail karen@emmauspreston.org.uk.