Leeds law firm partner Amanda Beresford has received a special medal in recognition of her 22 years of voluntary service to homelessness charity Emmaus Leeds.
Emmaus Leeds supports formerly homeless people by providing a home, work, training and individual support. Amanda is a founding member of Emmaus Leeds and played a leading role in the charity’s creation and growth within the city.
To celebrate Amanda’s outstanding voluntary service to Emmaus Leeds and people supported by the charity, she has received an Emmaus UK 30th Anniversary Founders’ Medal.
Amanda said: “Hearing the news that I had received a Founders’ Medal was a complete surprise. I now understand that it’s an inaugural medal but I didn’t even know it existed. It was a real pleasure and honour to receive, and gave me a nice warm feeling.
“I was one of the founding trustees of Emmaus Leeds way back in 1999. I was approached by the then Rector of Leeds, Graham Smith, with a request to help set up Emmaus in Leeds.
“We had nothing; no money, no office, no premises. But I am very much someone who supports the city of Leeds and wants to see it succeed. We grew a network of trustees and volunteers and we gradually built it up. I’ve remained a founding trustee ever since”.
Alongside her charitable work for Emmaus Leeds, Amanda is a partner at Leeds law firm Schofield Sweeney and is also the Immediate Past President of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce.
Gina Morrison, general manager at Emmaus Leeds, said: “It is impossible to quantify the time and expertise Amanda has given to Emmaus Leeds over the years. All we can say is a massive thank you for everything she has done. We hope she will continue to be part of Emmaus Leeds for many more years to come. Congratulations on your well-deserved medal, Amanda.”
Emmaus Leeds now supports up to 26 formerly homeless people by offering them a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it. 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of Emmaus in the UK and there are now 28 Emmaus communities across the country.