Three women sitting at a table

10 September 2014

Hidden away in the many hallways, corridors and rooms of the hostel in YMCA Surbiton, you can find the most unexpected things. One such hidden gem is Wayne, a resident – and a fully fledged artist. 

He has lived in the hostel in Surbiton for over 3 years. In this period, Wayne has seen his life change in so many ways and he now describes himself as someone with fewer issues and more confidence – as someone who does things he wouldn’t even dream of some years ago.

Things, like submitting a drawing to a poster competition, or going to the massively crowded X Factor auditions in London.

The winner is…

Recently, Wayne found out he won a poster competition organised by the Support Staff at YMCA Surbiton. The competition was linked up with a drawing course for residents, and Wayne’s green, white and black recycling poster was declared the winner.

Drawing makes me tick, it takes me into a different world. My imagination is really broad, if I look at an object or simply just the sky, I can see something in it that inspires me. It’s just something about the way I see things, the way I use my eyes”, Wayne explains.

The idea behind the poster

The recycle poster is currently on display in the entrance lobby of YMCA Surbiton, for all users of the centre’s facilities to see and admire.

Wayne explains the idea behind the design of it:

As you can see, one side is dark and one is bright, and I guess the message I wanted to convey is that things will be healthier, tidier and brighter if people keep it tidy, clean and recycle; whereas it will be dark and messy if they don’t.

The dark side is something of a wasteland, and I pictured it was me standing there on that pile of rubbish, being lonely, thinking, ‘what is going on here – what are we doing?’”

Invaluable support from Lucy

Wayne says he has received great support from the staff at YMCA Surbiton, especially his Support Worker Lucy.

“Lucy has helped me increase my confidence and just the fact that she has time to talk and always seems to have time for me has helped me lots. She’s also told me I need to take more credit for myself”.

Also, Wayne has been taking part in several courses and trips out organised by the YMCA.

A while back, I also took part in a retreat to Wales organised by Jacky, the YMCA LSW Chaplain”, Wayne says.

A day out at the X Factor

The latest outing Wayne took part in with the YMCA was to the filming of the X Factor auditions.

It was great! We saw lots of celebrities, like Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Louie Walsh and Mel B who are all on the judge’s panel. Also, one of the performers really stood out: I think he was an ex-marine or something, at least he looked like he was, and he was a bit older than the others. Obviously, Simon gave him a hard time when he came on, but when he started singing he blew me away, he had the best voice I’ve ever heard”, says Wayne

Some years ago, I would never in a million think that I’d be in a place like that X-Factor audition, with thousands of people. I would have been far too anxious. Today, with the help and support from YMCA LSW, it was a great day out”.