Emmaus House is a care home that sits at the bottom of Valley Drive, adjacent to Harrogate’s picturesque Valley Gardens, famed for their spring bloom. Established back in 1988 by devout Christians from a local church, Emmaus has Christianity deep in its roots. As part of this Christian ethos, there are activities such as singing hymns, prayers and Bible readings. Emmaus is part of the Pilgrim’s Friends Society, who have various homes, from Plymouth to the Scottish Borders. With 22 residents in their specialised care, there are many interesting backgrounds, from Molly who grew up in the Yorkshire Dales on a farm, and spent her later years in Pateley Bridge; to Patricia, who was born in the Belgian Congo (Formerly Zaire) in Africa and moved to England as a child before becoming a budding photographer on London’s Regent Street, later taking a position as the first female photographer at the Yorkshire Post, also opening Huddersfield’s Holocaust Museum in 2018. I think it’s so interesting that all these residents, (from past engineers to photographers and those who’ve lived simpler lives) have lived very different lives, altogether ending up at Emmaus House.
I was initially inspired by a radio program I heard where a woman spoke about publishing a book where she detailed talking to elderly patients in hospitals and this captured my attention. Also, I thought it’d be fun to couple my writing skills with talking to people and this is what happened.
Therefore, when I spoke with Careers here, they put me in contact with Emmaus and that is where it began, I’m thankful I took up the opportunity and it has taught me fundamental core skills. Through meeting several residents, I have learned skills which will help me in the future, both short-term and longer-term, such as interviewing strangers and writing to deadlines, alongside learning to talk with the residents in a polite and considerate manner, ensuring they’re comfortable.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed the experience so far, and hope to continue these interviews for as long as I possibly can, documenting each person’s life in ways that it hasn’t been recorded before. I hope to become a writer or have a job within the media someday, as it has always appealed to me, especially with current affairs.
by Angus Douglas – Year 12
To read Angus’ articles in full click here.