A surprise visit from Queen Camilla

January 8, 2024

Legs4Africa recently participated in a remarkable celebration marking the 25th anniversary of Emmaus Bristol, where Her Majesty, Queen Camilla, made a special appearance. This momentous occasion showcased the incredible work and dedication of Emmaus Bristol, with Legs4Africa having a dedicated room within the Emmaus building.

During the event, Queen Camilla engaged in various activities, including using a ceremonial sword to cut a cake and pulling a Christmas cracker with Sir Terry Waite, the president of Emmaus UK. Her Majesty exhibited her graciousness, wit, and genuine interest in the proceedings, reflecting the essence of the event.

Emmaus UK operates 30 communities, providing shelter and purpose to those facing homelessness. Companions, as they are known, contribute to the charity’s efforts by working in shops and warehouses in exchange for accommodation and support. The Bristol community houses 24 individuals who have experienced hardships, offering them ongoing assistance and a sense of belonging.

Queen Camilla toured the warehouse and offices alongside Emmaus UK’s chair of trustees and the chief executive of Emmaus Bristol. She observed the refurbishment process of donated items, witnessing firsthand the transformative work undertaken by companions like Kevin and Michael, who were engaged in repainting and repairing furniture for resale.

Engaging with the companions, Queen Camilla empathetically acknowledged the importance of places like Emmaus, commending the Bristol hub, which holds a special significance for her as it was the first Emmaus UK centre she visited upon becoming the charity’s royal patron in 2006.

The Queen interacted with volunteers and staff, acknowledging their dedication in managing various aspects of Emmaus Bristol, such as its shops, eBay store, house clearance service, and eco-friendly treehouse pods used for holiday rentals.

As the event concluded, Queen Camilla exchanged heartwarming conversations with companions like Pawel, who emotionally expressed gratitude for finding a supportive community after years of homelessness. Her Majesty’s interactions reflected a genuine concern for the individuals whose lives have been positively impacted by Emmaus Bristol.

This celebration highlighted the invaluable work done by Emmaus Bristol and reaffirmed Legs4Africa’s commitment to partnering with such organisations to facilitate better access to prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation for those in need. Legs4Africa remains dedicated to contributing to the circular economy by repurposing prosthetic limbs and extending support to amputees, aligning with the compassionate ethos demonstrated by Queen Camilla and the spirit of community displayed at Emmaus Bristol.

Through collaboration and collective efforts, organisations like Legs4Africa and Emmaus Bristol continue to create a positive impact, providing hope and rebuilding lives in Bristol and beyond.

About the author

Name: Tom Williams

My passion? Ensuring no prosthetic leg goes unused. I’m dedicated to collecting, refurbishing, and sending these vital pieces of technology to our partners in Africa, where they make a world of difference. When I’m not immersed in this mission at STAND, I’m often found outdoors, embracing nature. I love long walks in any season, camping under the stars, and enjoying the serenity of the great outdoors. My evenings often involve a unique hobby – maintaining and repairing old pinball machines. This blend of precision and nostalgia keeps me engaged and always learning. This fusion of dedication to my work and my love for nature and tinkering drives me every day, both at STAND and beyond.

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