Tom, 21, and Emily, 24, have worked with disadvantaged young people in Coventry for several years. Volunteering their time, they ensure those they meet have a positive experience of community and Church. Many of the young people Tom and Emily work with are on the fringes of society, having suffered great challenges in their lives. Some of the young people have lost a parent, or have a parent in jail or on drugs. Some deal with bullying on a regular basis. Some are homeless or have faced abuse.
Tom and Emily have given their time to ensure the young people have good memories and know they are loved. They have raised money to buy them Christmas presents and to give them a Christmas break away in a castle and have helped young people to have a summer holiday.
But it’s Tom and Emily’s personal touch which is so important. They have spent time getting to know them, to show them they care. They have played games, cooked, and been there if they cannot sleep. They have shared their faith in a courageous way.
Tom and Emily have also worked in a shanty town in Brazil, supporting children and working to create a beautiful garden dedicated to Our Lady in the middle of the community, giving hope and a place of peace to those who seek refuge. Tom and Emily visited the poor in the shanty town, bringing food, sharing something of himself and getting to know those from a different culture and background.
What they said: “Tom is a young person who never stops giving and whose answer is always YES” – Maria Bracken, Andrew Robinson Young Peoples Trust
“Emily is a shining example of promoting solidarity and peace” - Christopher Pell, Emily’s colleague