Archive | Companion Stories


Companion vision boards: 2020 and the future

Emmaus Hull & East Riding Companions have been saying goodbye to the year through an art project that encourages them to look forward to a brighter 2021. Using craft supplies and magazine cuttings, 10 individuals have taken part in a new vision board project that focuses on their future goals and promotes positive thinking during the pandemic. The project has been led by the Support team, Progression Worker Sally said, “The aim of the project is to help the people we support to set positive goals and give them a sense of control about how their future can look. All the individuals involved are trying to rebuild their lives following homelessness. One participant chose to write a goodbye letter to his ‘friend’ on his vision board. The friend he was referring to was alcohol.” “It has been a tough year for residents as the charity shop closures meant they temporarily lost their work and sense of purpose. Projects like this are beneficial for our companion’s wellbeing and mental health. Everyone has been incredibly engaged in the project and are very proud of what they have created”. Homelessness, domestic violence, alcoholism, drug abuse and social exclusion are just some of the […]

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Case Study – SB

Safe to say the year 2020 has been rocky for everyone, but for someone with no fixed abode it is particularly difficult. It’s been a tough year, having had a short-term tough relationship, several heartbreaking losses (one being the death of my sister), losing my job and accommodation in the space of an hour and lock down rules making certain places no longer an option, I felt massively overwhelmed with little hope. It felt like it was one thing after another and this in turn impacted my mental health. I found myself making bad choices, spending time with people up to no good and turned to excessive alcohol drinking and developing a poor attitude towards my physical health. Over 6 months on and off I was sofa surfing, which is very unsettling and sadly becoming very common. Some nights I stayed over the bridge with family and some nights, I didn’t sleep at all. When I had nowhere sorted to go or if last minute, I wasn’t able to stay where I had arranged, I would find myself walking from one end of Hull to the other. The longest time spent consecutively with nowhere to go, setting off late from […]

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Paul’s story

In 2005 I Became homeless for the first time. When you are homeless, you never really close your eyes. I avoided the towns and tried to keep a low profile. If you had anything of value, you would get jumped. Sometimes you would get jumped just because someone felt like it – they didn’t need a reason. There were times I felt like ending it all, but something always held me back. I managed to find work at Funfairs and at Holiday Camps but the work was seasonal and I wasn’t accomplishing anything long term. A move back to Yorkshire to re connect with family didn’t work out like I imagined so I found myself back in the South sleeping rough once more. There were days I felt like jumping off the end of the Pier, but then I was referred to Emmaus and my life changed. The day I walked into Emmaus was emotional. I didn’t feel judged and I was welcomed by everyone. You just can’t explain the feeling of relief when you don’t have to worry about your next meal or your next hot shower. We have our ups and downs like all families, and that’s what […]

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Richard’s Story

I Came to Emmaus nearly 5 month ago…completely broken amidst a personal and long lasting nightmare of addiction and mental health complications riddled with all kinds of negativity and mental distress and not knowing myself at all, turning my back on everything and everyone whilst being at a staggeringly low 9 1/2 stone… Nearly 5 months later, I’ve weened off 2 regular medications and am now reaching the same time clean and sober, can work a 40+ hour week again without feeling like a ghost afterwards and NOW weigh just shy of 13 stone!!! I haven’t weighed this much since I was in my teens! 😌! All in all, I finally have a life worth living and some pretty incredible people populating it too. Thank you to everyone who has and continues to be there for me on a daily basis and for being the extraordinary support network I’ve needed in order to succeed! I love you all from the bottom of my soul 👊❤️ Recovery is always possible Recovery is always worth it! 🙏

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Anonymous Companion Story

So this is my Story: in late 2005 I found myself staying with my aunt on her sofa due to issues with work and housing, I heard about Emmaus Greenwich through a day centre so I gave them a call and the lady I spoke to told me I would need to work 40 hours a week in return for a room of my own, food and a small weekly allowance with no Bill’s to pay. It sounded ideal for me and I was invited to have a look around, it didn’t take me long to tell them I wanted to stay and I soon settled into things, sorting out the brick a brack and going out on the van to help with collections and deliveries. During my 2-3 months there I discovered Emmaus Cambridge was not far from where my Mum and Stepdad lived and managed to get a transfer to the community, after a month or so I managed to find a place to live in Somerset so went there hoping to find work but it was a bit out of the way and after I while I got bored and managed to find a flat share in […]

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David’s story

David came from a loving family who tried everything they could to keep him safe and out of trouble. As many teenagers do and David did, the influences of his friends and piers which led David to have his first conviction was when he was only 13, this was for various types of theft. At the age of 14 David was sentenced to 4 months in prison. David became a prolific offender and was in and out of prison until he was 20. David met his ex-partner and when he was released they moved to Sheffield for a new start and got a job and had 2 girls called Chloe and Lillie, David was enjoying his family life. Whilst David lived in Sheffield he bumped into some of his old friend from prison and he started taking heroin again when he was 25, which he then got addicted but was able to keep if from his partner at the time for 3 years. When she found out about the heroin she still gave David lots of chances. David’s words “I chose heroin” This split the family up, and at 30 years old David went back to Rotherham to live with […]

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Companion Stories – Jason

On 26TH September 2017, Jason went into a day centre in Brighton to ask for help. They supported Jason’s move into Emmaus Hull as a companion the same day.  He had previously lived in a travelling community all his life. Over the years Jason moved around and had an interesting childhood. From a young adult Jason gambled a lot and at 45 years old he wanted to change his life around and have a fresh start. Jason found it hard when he first came into Emmaus as he wasn’t used to routine or the stability of living in a house and not travelling around. Jason started to enjoy having a purpose and keeping busy with the voluntary work at Emmaus. Jason has come into his own and has undertaken a lot of training offered by Emmaus such as Buddy training, Fire Marshall, First-Aid, Customer service, Key-holder, Warehouse & Storage NVQ level 2. J He has recently finished a work placement at Hull maintenance and really enjoyed it. Jason has certainly turned his life around and is now moving on to new pastures with a  Painting and Decorating job and he is also moving in with his new partner. Quote from […]

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Layne Hall – A Companion Story

Layne came and joined the Emmaus Hull & East Riding community in February of 2019 after months of sofa surfing in another area. Layne has not previously lived in community living and was feeling somewhat apprehensive. Layne had also never lived in the Hull area before so was experiencing a whole array of new encounters. Layne would describe himself as a quiet person and sometimes finds it hard to socialise with new people and can experience feelings of overwhelming anxiety when presented with large numbers of people particularly in new situations. Layne had no previous experience of a working environment and lacked an understanding of the challenges and rewards that a working day could provide. Since Layne joined the community he has gone from strength to strength, he slowly has found the confidence to engage and socialise with other companions he now considers part of his extended family. Layne has found his voice in the morning meetings and with support from his peers and support worker has offered input and discussed rotas. Layne has been involved in the many social activities that take place within the community from BBQ’s to the themed menu nights, Layne can always be found tucking […]

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Emmaus Hull and East Riding Companion Carl

Companion Profile: Carl

Carl became a companion of Emmaus Hull & East Riding community 25th February 2019. After suffering with poor mental health, he found himself homeless and estranged from his family. This caused Carl’s mental health to deteriorate further, with no sense of purpose, low self-esteem and no place to call home. The relationship between Carl and his children’s care givers had all but broken down, which resulted in loss of contact for Carl with his children, losing several months access to his youngest son and daughter. Sadly the relationship between Carl and his Mum had broken down to virtually no contact whatsoever. Carl describes his first night at Emmaus as feeling “nervous, scared and unsure what the future could possibly hold”. This was the first time that he had experienced community living. Carl was introduced to his buddy and made to feel at ease with a warm drink and a non-judgemental ear to listen and reassure him. The first time he walked through the door, he was greeted by a warm, friendly and unconditional welcome by a community that Carl now considers to be a part of his extended family. Carl has soon adapted to his work role within the superstore and […]

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Former Rough Sleeper Calls for Better Mental Health Support

Hull, UK: A former rough sleeper is celebrating the next chapter in his life having gone from being homeless to independent living in just two years but says mental health awareness remains an issue. Bob Chapman suffered from depression, which had lead to spiralling debt and ultimately him facing life on the streets. Having spent four and half months living rough, including time camped in forests and living off berries, with the help of local homeless charity, Emmaus Hull and East Riding he has been able to transform his life. Now living independently in his own flat in north Hull he is about to take his first steps back in to employment. Former rough sleeper, Mr. Chapman said: “It was about 2000 when my depression first set in. My mum had died just after my birthday and not long after that we found out my dad was terminally ill.“I had a good job in the warehouse at Cranswick Foods but, because my sister had a disabled child, I gave up my job to become a full time carer for my dad. “It was in 2015 that the depression really took hold. I couldn’t take any more bad news so I stopped […]

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