Hostage hero Terry Waite visits Harpenden charity

SHOPPERS at a busy charity shop saw a familiar face behind the counter when they went in last week.

SHOPPERS at a busy charity shop saw a familiar face behind the counter when they went in last week.

For former hostage Terry Waite, who is president of Emmaus which has a shop in Batford, Harpenden, manned the till to help the charity raise funds for Pakistan flood victims.

Terry has been a frequent visitor to St Albans since being released from his incarceration and taking over the presidency of Emmaus, a charity which supports homeless people by providing both accommodation and work in 19 communities around the country.

In an act of solidarity with the poor and homeless in Pakistan, the previous homeless residents of Emmaus St Albans decided to donate the proceeds of the day’s sale of furniture at their secondhand shop in Batford to the appeal.

Terry, who is President of Emmaus UK, said the purpose of the sale was to raise money for the victims of the Pakistan floods.

He explained: “At Emmaus St Albans they’re applying the principle of we help ourselves - and at the same time we want to stretch out and express solidarity with the poor of the world so they can be helped too.

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“One of the great things about the work of Emmaus is it enables people to have hope - and what they’re trying to do here is practical and symbolic.”

Funds from the stock sold at the Batford warehouse sale usually go straight back to Emmaus to support its cause of helping the homeless, but in a break from tradition the money raised from last Thursday’s sale would go to the alternative cause of Pakistan flood relief.

Terry said: “An area in Pakistan the size of England is under water and people are being made homeless who had precious little before.”

“Being here, raising money with Emmaus is better than doing what I used to do - stand up in a pulpit and mouth a few words.

“In my mind this charity work is equally significant to any papal business.”

“What these fellow are doing today is pretty significant.”

Many of those working at the sale were the former-homeless who had been helped by Emmaus.

“It sends a very powerful message,” said Terry, “when men and women from a charity like Emmaus reach a stage where they themselves are able to hold a fundraiser to help people even less fortunate than themselves.

“The work Emmaus is doing today and the work it does everyday is quite remarkable. I’ve met at least five formerly homeless people today who’ve been through Emmaus, got flats or apartments of their own and got back into life. So it really does work.”

He continued: “It’s very important for me to be in Harpenden, working with organisations like Emmaus which enable people to have some hope in life. All situations of deprivation are difficult but it’s all about maintaining hope.”

The sale, held the Emmaus shop the Lea Valley Industrial Warehouse in Batford, Harpenden, raised over �900.

Tim Fox, general manager of Emmaus Harpenden, said: “We hoped to raise about �500 so this was way above expectations.”

“I wanted Terry to be present at the sale to assure the public that every penny of the money raised would reach the Pakistan flood victims. The event wouldn’t have been the success it was without him.”

Tim said the ethos of Emmaus is ‘helping others’: “The companions [the former-homeless than Emmaus have helped] said they wanted to do something to help the victims of the Pakistan flood.”

To help the Pakistan Flood Victims, please donate online at: or at your local building society.

Please send any donations for Emmaus’ homeless work to: Emmaus St Albans, Hill End Lane, St Albans, Herts, AL4 OFE.