My name is Mustafa, but I’m known as Mushy because there are two Mustafas working here. I started working at Emmaus Preston at the end of June 2021 through the Kickstart Scheme and like it. The first few weeks were great, and they still are. No two days are the same.

My role was in Retail Operations and Logistics at Emmaus Preston, leading any future changes to working practices to streamline operations for customers at the charity’s three stores. In April 2022, I became Business and Volunteer Development Officer with responsibility for researching business plans for the future to present to the board, which I’m really excited about. 

I applied for the Kickstart Scheme, to help young people find work, when I became unemployed after graduating with a first in Business Management and Chinese. I had applied for another role, but when this job was offered to me, I jumped at the chance.  

Emmaus Preston operations

Being local, I had seen the Emmaus vans all the time, with the big green logos, but I hadn’t gone into the stores or realised the full scale of the operations here.  

In my role I’ve spent time at each of the three Emmaus Preston stores: Fishergate, Deepdale and the 47,000 sq ft Megastore. I have managed 20 plus companions at the height of operations so far, and back office projects for me have included researching how often vans have visited certain postcodes to assess our range of collections and deliveries The role has mostly been vehicle related stuff and vehicle checks.  

My new duties involve compiling research, statistics and data for business projects, which was part of my degree so I hope I’m better at putting this together than your average person. These ideas will involve companions and potentially lead to the community gaining more skills and qualifications. 

Sharing the Emmaus ethos

Emmaus has a really good ethos and I like the system. It gets people who have been homeless off to a good start by building routines back into working lives and helping people move on after that. Routine building and the process of waking up and going to work is probably the most important thing.   

When I’ve not been working, everything goes upside-down for me and I don’t like it.  When you’ve got something there, you can keep up with that. I think getting up to work 9 to 5 is better than getting up in the middle of the day and having nothing to do. Working means days are set out properly.  

Emmaus Preston is the best place to work. Previously, I’ve done call centre and supermarket work. At those kinds of places, you’re extremely micromanaged. At Emmaus Preston, you have the freedom to be more independent and that is what wakes me up in the morning.  

Learning alongside others

 There’s no need to think twice about working here or volunteering. If you’re offered a role, I would 100% take it. It’s a great charity. Accept it will be of benefit, you’re upskilling yourself and you will be involved in the work of the charity itself. You’re able to learn alongside everyone and learn the business. 

To find out more about the roles available at Emmaus Preston, please contact Karen on 01772 796622 or e-mail