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 into his food and socialising with others.

Layne continues to go from strength to strength within his working role and can often be found sorting through the brick a bac in the warehouse, contributing to the up keep within the orchard or enjoying some gardening by either maintain the lawns or keeping on top of the vegetables we have growing to enable self-sufficiency.

Layne was also heavily involved with the solidarity work that 3 other companions took part in by clearing a previously unloved and over grown communal garden. After many hours hard work and a few blisters later Layne and the other companions have been able to hand back to a local community a beautiful, weed free well-loved space that can be enjoyed by so many. Layne himself says “the work involved in the garden project was hard work, but a day I will never forget, I got to work with 3 other companions in a new environment, we worked hard but laughed and joked while getting the job done”. Layne says he would not previously of been able to be involved in this kind of work due to his anxiety, however with the support of other companions and the building of trust Layne felt confident and happy to be in such a new environment.

Layne has also been able to explore Hull and spends his free time taking photographs of local areas of interest and has become involved with Hull Minister. Layne is now learning to play music and considers himself to have a safe place to call home while have the freedom to explore outside interests.

Layne is grateful for all that Emmaus have offered him and feels he has a sense of purpose through the structure of his day and the commitment he has shown to his community and work life. Layne is very much looking forward to the future and hopes to continue his solidarity work with involvement in Emmaus International and support those in a greater need than himself.

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