Dave deals with the flood tide of bric-a-brac, which pours in daily from our generous donors. There are rich pickings for bargain hunters amongst the china, ornaments, glass, pictures and the various bizarre and sometimes unidentifiable objects which Dave sorts and displays in the Chapel and main shops.
Dave tells how he came to Emmaus:
"At school they said ‘You’re not an academic, but you are a good worker, why don’t you learn a trade.’ So I did a five-year printing apprenticeship and got a good job - then the firm went bust. It was difficult to find similar work so I lost interest. The longer you are out of work the harder it gets.
I had a house in Clacton once but I got behind with the mortgage and it was repossessed. Then I was on the streets for nine months. The winter in January is the worst time and it’s not easy to get into a night shelter. Part of my troubles is self-inflicted. I used to be terrible with money, on a sort of roller coaster, up and down, never on course. Now I save so I don’t run short. I've put a block on going to the pub. Once drink gets hold of you, you want to drink every night and you can’t work with a hangover.
Most of the customers are friendly and easy but some do like to haggle; though the prices are very fair. Joel tells me not to be soft and to check with him or another Companion if I want to knock a bit off. You can tell if people haven’t got much money and I ‘d like to help them.
Graeme taught me to work the till in the Chapel shop. It was hard to handle at first but I learned to do it and I was pleased that I even got the hang of credit cards. It’s good that I’m learning all the time about bric-a-brac, china and paintings. We get some really valuable stuff here sometimes and I’m learning to recognise it.
I like to feel I’ve worked well and earned my money each day. If Joel says I’ve done a good job I feel really pleased.”