When an ending is actually a beginning

April 24, 2015

I know an incredible woman called Lynne. I will never forget my first meeting with her at a hotel somewhere in Nottinghamshire. I was a nervous new starter at Langley, huddled in a corner with the other newbies – one of whom was Lynne – which gives her a special place in my heart.

Lynne, Project Manager, Elderfield. Looking at the camera smiling with shoulder-length brown hair.

Lynne, Project Manager, Elderfield

Lynne is special for other reasons too. She knows first-hand what it is like to be faced with an ending that turns out to be a beginning. She joined Langley having been widowed in 2003 and left with two young daughters to raise. She cites this as the moment that God changed her life direction to working with offenders.

It would be 9 years before she found Langley, a place where she could combine her faith and her work, something that she says she feels blessed for every day. She will tell you that working for Langley has changed and challenged her as much as she has brought change and challenge to those she works with.


It’s incredible really when you see someone that everyone else has written off achieve something beyond their wildest dreams. But often, that does not happen straight away. There is always something that gets in the way – reputation, history, something in your past. What is amazing is when the guys still come back, even if they have made a mistake, and try again and this time it sticks.

If there is a common thread to all of us, it would probably be tenacity. Like our first project which wasn’t even supposed to be our first project!

Langley House was the first home found by Team K and the sale was all set. However, with all of the peculiarities of the English property buying system, the team was gazumped and left with a charity registered in the name of Langley House Trust without a Langley House!

For anyone who has set out to do anything like starting a charity, you might take this a sign that you were not supposed to carry on. Not so with Team K. They pushed on and found Elderfield in Hampshire which became the first Langley House home to open its doors in 1959.

This was another supposed ending that in fact turned out to be a beginning. And Lynne and her dedicated team are here to this day, providing accommodation and support for those that need somewhere to stop the revolving and unrelenting cycle of crime. I was privileged to spend time with Brad, one of the service users at Elderfield, and listen to what he had to say.

Being here has changed my life. I feel sick when I look back at who I was, it doesn’t even seem like it was really me. I just needed a place to stop. It’s not like other places being here. The staff here really see me, they really care.

For Brad and hundreds before him, coming to Elderfield has changed their lives forever. But it is not the building that does the work, it is and always will be the men and women that hear and respond to the call on their lives to travel the hard road with tenacity and courage in the face of adversity and disappointment – making new beginnings out of endings.

This week’s blog is from Claire Burton, Head of Business Development, Langley House Trust, 24th April 2015.

Back to current blogs