Man turns life around with help of Emmaus Leeds homelessness charity

A beneficiary of a Leeds homelessness service has celebrated after turning his life around.

Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 5:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 5:38 pm
Nick Derigs at Emmaus Leeds.

Nick Derigs, who is originally from Buckinghamshire, spent five years living at Emmaus Leeds.

He said: “I first heard about Emmaus when I saw Emmaus Oxford on the TV programme, Secret Millionaire.

“When I became homeless I contacted a few Emmaus communities down south.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Veteran reveals how Emmaus Leeds helped him rebuild after life on the streets“Unfortunately, they didn’t have any spaces, but Emmaus Leeds did have a space, so I headed north.

“Over my five years at Emmaus I’ve been able to get involved in all sorts. Training and skills wise I’ve completed courses, repaired old PCs and importantly, gained hands-on retail and van driving experience which has been a massive benefit.”

The facility in St Mary’s Street off Mabgate runs a large second-hand shop staffed by people who have been homeless and live at the site’s supported living quarters, which caters for more than 20 people.

Nick, who has now left the service, uses his skills in his job for an online retail company.