Case Study 4 : Community Manager

Name: David Perry

Organisation: Emmaus Bristol  

Age: 49 

So, what do you actually do?  

Build and develop a community which provides a positive experience for all involved. 

How did you get into this job?  

I worked as a paramedic station officer for the NHS Ambulance Service for 24 years but retired for health reasons. I wanted to do something as interesting and helpful. I explored various career paths before discovering Emmaus Bristol. I spoke to the director and learned more about Emmaus. After working in a homeless hostel for a year, the Emmaus Bristol Group were ready to employ a community leader so I applied, got the job and worked my way up. 

What does your typical day involve? 

Managing referrals; support and training of “companions”; discipline; logistics; facilities management; mentoring; counselling; financial management; being a “shoulder to cry on”;  HR; PR; networking with other agencies within Bristol and beyond; liaising with Emmaus UK and other communities and groups in the UK and abroad. 

What kind of personality is best suited to working in a job like yours?  

Calm; organised; caring; decisive; non-judgmental; people skills. 

What's the most memorable experience you've had in this job?  

Seeing people come in with no-self respect, feeling worthless, and then witnessing them discover a reason to live and developing a sense of worth. 

How rewarding is it?  

I didn't think there could be anything better than being a paramedic. I was wrong — this is even more interesting and rewarding. 

Any top tips for someone wanting to get into this work?  

Be committed, expect the best, and don't be too disappointed when the best isn't always achieved or is less than you would like. 


Tel: 01223 379271


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