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 challenges the project participants have endured. Some of them have experienced homelessness during the pandemic, sleeping in cars and on benches to stay warm. They all now live within The Orchard, Emmaus Hull and East Riding’s community building on Lockwood Street, Hull. They also work within the Emmaus Hull and East Riding social enterprises to learn new skills.

Phil, who has been involved in the project, said: “This vision board is something I can look at every day to remind me what it is that I want, and that the choices I make are mine to make. I feel lucky to have the support of my fellow companions to help me through”.

Hazel, another project participant, said: “Next year for me is about getting healthy and back to the person I used to be. This vision board has helped me focus on my goals for 2021 and I will be fit and healthy and live my life for me and my family”.

The project has been taking place during resident’s daily ‘training and development’ time, which takes place between 9am-10am every morning.

People supported by Emmaus Hull and East Riding receive person-centered support, training and meaningful work to help them get back to independent living and break the cycle of homelessness.

Residents plan to hang their vision boards in their own rooms so they can be reminded of their visions on a daily basis.