An “unsung Coventry hero” with an “infectious passion and determination” to help homeless people has been shortlisted for a lifetime achievement award.

Tim Brooke is the founder of Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire, which since its inception in 1992 has supported more than 1,000 formerly homeless people.

Mr Brooke, who is still a trustee and remains actively involved in the charity, has been put forward for a Housing Heroes Award in the lifetime achievement in housing category.

It’s almost 30 years since Mr Brooke, working with Coventry Council of Churches, decided to take action to tackle the growing issue of homelessness.

Having witnessed the effectiveness of French charity Emmaus years before, he worked with them to gather like-minded volunteers and together they set up what was then only the second Emmaus in the UK.

Emmaus is an international movement helping those in need across the world; there are now 29 communities across the UK.

Throughout the years Mr Brooke has remained a driving force behind the charity, volunteering in roles as chairman, trustee and advisor.

He said: “I was shocked but pleased when I heard the news. It’s great that the value of our charity is being recognised in this way. I believe so strongly that Emmaus is doing it right; we don’t just offer a bed for the night but a reason to get out of it each morning.

“We’re going to celebrate with a socially-distanced barbeque for everyone involved with the charity.”

Current chairman of Emmaus UK and Trustee of Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire Susan Taylor said: “Tim Brooke is an unsung Coventry hero. His passion and determination is infectious, yet he is unassuming and prefers a low profile.

“Although Emmaus Coventry and Warwickshire is a small independent charity, it has been the lifeline to thousands of socially excluded and formerly homeless people over many years.

“Tim has given a substantial part of his life to Emmaus and we’re extremely proud that his work is being acknowledged in this way.”

The Housing Heroes Awards 2020 will take place at an online awards ceremony on Thursday, September 10 as part of ‘Housing 2020: The Virtual Festival’.

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