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thePavement is the free magazine for the UK's homeless people

We are committed to publishing objective reportage, tailored to a homeless readership, and to publicising the complete range of services available to homeless people, to reduce hardship amongst our readers and to enable them to guide their future.

We believe that drives to produce homogenous services for homeless people are misguided, and that a range of service types and sizes are the only way to cater successfully for our diverse readership.

We believe that sleeping rough is physically and mentally harmful; however, we do not preach to those who chosen to, nor do we believe that all options to get off the streets are necessarily beneficial to long-term health and happiness.



Your rights

The Rights Guide for Rough Sleepers outlines your rights around arrest, stop and search, answering police questions, move-ons, no-drinking zones, sleeping rough, taking a pee in public and highway obstruction. It was put together by The Pavement, Housing Justice, Liberty and Zacchaeus 2000.

If your benefits have been sanctioned (cut off or reduced) and you feel this is unfair, you can appeal. Print this letter and hand it in at the office where you sign on. If you feel you need more advice about sanctions, contact  Zacchaeus 2000 or your nearest  Citizen’s Advice Bureau. And let us know at The Pavement!



If you are a journalist with some free time to research and write stories for the magazine, please contact us . For other volunteering opportunities, please approach organisations listed on our Services pages or your local volunteer centre


The web site is coded by hand at Flat Earth Industries

The type is set in FS Albert webfont delivered courtesy of Fontdeck

Ollie the twitterrific bird appears courtesy of


In the latest issue


Leading charity DrugWise has said that homeless people will continue to be hospitalised from taking legal highs unless the government deals with the chronic shortage of housing.

One year on from the introduction of the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA), has banning legal highs helped or hindered the ongoing ’zombie apocalypse’ – as the tabloids have dubbed...


Mat Amp meets the homeless photographers ready to make their mark. Watch out, world.

There is a real buzz in the lobby of the Guardian newspaper’s HQ in King’s Cross. It’s the opening of a new exhibition called ‘Made By Us’, and the work is exceptional. But what’s maybe even more amazing is that many of the...


Breaking News

Volunteers helping with the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire have...
Councils across England and...
Glasgow City Council has raised the alarm about the introduction of Universal...
St Mungo’s released the second phase of their Stop the Scandal campaign...
Cuts to Legal Aid are leaving vulnerable people without access to...
Almost a third of charity workers don’t donate money to good causes,...


25 July 2017

Freelance Content & Communications Officer 

Contract Length: Approx. 60 days’ work from July 2017–March 2018

Salary: £150 per day

Reporting to: Groundswell Project Manager – Insight & Action


From the Ground Up is a collaboration between Groundswell and the Pavement magazine, and is funded by Comic Relief. Our volunteer peer journalists will report on issues that matter to people experiencing homelessness and will develop and communicate solutions.

Our peer journalists are trained and supported to use their lived experience to work with homeless people to identify the real issues affecting people. Then take their findings directly to service staff, policy makers and people experiencing homelessness to bring about change.

Groundswell is a registered charity (no. 1089987) that exists to enable homeless and vulnerable people to take more control of their lives, have a greater influence on services and to play a fuller role in our community. Our work is based around a set of core beliefs that see homeless people at the heart of solutions to tackling homelessness. Our largest area of work is around health and homelessness with peer volunteers accompanying homeless people to health appointments. Our work includes the Insight and Action Programme which takes a radical grassroots approach to uncovering the issues faced by homeless people and crucially, develops achievable solutions.

The Pavement is a small UK-wide homeless charity, which publishes and distributes a free bi-monthly magazine for a homeless readership and runs a UK-wide website. Both include a unique listings service of everything those who are homeless might need to know and a unique blend of reportage, advice, cartoons and inspiring real life stories, all written with our homeless readership firmly in mind.

Currently the Pavement magazine is delivered free to over 70 day centres, projects and soup kitchens across London and Scotland; it goes straight to the hands of the homeless people who need it most: we believe information can give you the power to change your life.

As a largely volunteer-led organisation, we involve homeless people in all aspects of our work and campaign to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with being homeless.

Job Tasks


1. Volunteer training. Support the training of volunteers in citizen journalism, podcast making, storytelling and photography.

2. Content support: Work closely with the editor of the Pavement magazine to support peer journalists to produce relevant and accessible content for both print and online formats, in line with our style guidelines.

3. Writing and reporting. Work with the Groundswell team to identify the latest policy and research that affects homeless people and producing accessible and digestible summary reports directed at Pavement magazine readers with experience of homelessness.

4. Events. Work with the Groundswell team to arrange events that bring together people with experience of homelessness, journalists, service providers and policy makers in order to communicate issues raised through research.

5. Communication. Work with the Groundswell team to disseminate findings to people with experiencing homelessness through in-reach sessions in homelessness services, with media to communicate with the wider public, and with service providers and policy makers to help use content produced by peer journalists to drive positive change.

6. Recording and monitoring. Keep accurate records of activities undertaken and work with volunteers through Groundswell’s Salesforce CRM and other recording mechanisms and contribute to reporting on the project.


Organisational Communications

7. Undertake agreed communications tasks for Groundswell including: implementation of Groundswell’s Communications Action Plan, and raising awareness of Groundswell’s work through producing, designing and disseminating promotion material in a range of internet and media formats including print materials for a range of audiences. Other tasks including work on Groundswell’s website, social media, media campaigns and newsletter.

8. Undertake agreed communication and editorial tasks for the Pavement magazine including: writing web content, media and campaigning work, and supporter communications.



9.  Equal Opportunities. To promote equal opportunities in all areas of work.

10. Teamwork. To contribute to a co-operative and supportive team environment.

11. Represent. To represent Groundswell and The Pavement in an appropriate manner.

12. Line Management. To participate in regular line management meetings.

13. Other Work. To undertake other work as agreed with line manager, with additional days agreed on a freelance basis.


Person Specification


1. Journalistic experience, preferably in both print and online formats.

2. Experience of volunteering or working with volunteers.

3. Fully computer literate including experience of range of web based computerised software, and demonstrable experience of

using MS Office and content management systems like WordPress.

4. Excellent written skills and ability to present information in an accessible manner.

5. Strong creative skills including knowledge of a design platform like Adobe Photoshop.

6. Proof reading skills with an excellent eye for detail.

7. Excellent administration and organisation skills.

8. Experience of accurate record keeping and monitoring.

9. Experience of using social media with the aim of creating creating positive social change.

10. Understanding and support of Groundswell and the Pavement’s core beliefs.


11. Personal or work-related experience of the issues relevant to homeless people.

12. A journalism qualification

13. Experience of delivering media training to vulnerable adults.

14. Communications experience.

15. Experience of organizing events.

16. Experience of managing contact list and undertaking mail-outs.

17. A good knowledge of the UK media.


Application Process

1. Application
To make an application, please submit your CV along with a cover letter which explains how you meet each of the areas outlined in the Person Specification above and why you are interested in doing this job. The deadline is Monday 24thth July 2017 at 12pm. Please submit by email to Katie Langford on

2. Interviews
Candidates will be notified if they have been invited to interview by Wednesday 26th July 2017. If you have not been notified by this date, then please assume you have been unsuccessful on this occasion. Interviews will then be held on Wednesday 2nd August 2017

3. References
Two references will need to be taken up before a job offer can be made. Please include reference details in your application. One should be your current or most recent employer, and the other someone who has known you in a professional capacity for at least two years.
We will not contact any referees before the interview and only after you grant consent.

Many thanks for taking the time to look into this role – it is an exciting opportunity and we hope you will consider applying.

If you would like to discuss this role before applying then please contact Martin Burrows, Groundswell’s Insight and Action Project Manager, on 03000 039 600 or


Registered as Groundswell Network Support UK. Charity number: 1089987. Company limited by guarantee number: 4151312. Address: 55 Bondway, London, SW8 1SJ. Email: Tel: 03000 039 600 Web:

The Pavement
Established 2005. Registered Charity No. 1110656. Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760. Email: Web:

09 February 2017

Listen to our first 'From the Ground Up' podcast and hear from our team about the difficulties in getting help when you are homeless and also have both mental health and addiction issues. Produced by Steve Urquart.

09 February 2017

Our Glasgow Word On The Street project went so well that we are now running it in London. Véronique Mistiaen, lecturer and human rights journalist, led the second session, 'How to tell your own story'. you can read more about the project on her blog, The Right Human. Check out the trainees' blog to follow their progress from newbie to news hound.

23 June 2015

Will you use your admin ninja skills to help a unique small charity working to support homeless people?

Download PDF (141KB)

23 June 2015

Do you want to use your fundraising skills to support a unique small charity working to support homeless people?

Download PDF (146KB)

23 June 2015

Will you donate your a journalism or photography skills to help the homeless people we work to support?

Download PDF (146KB)

04 November 2014

Our Glasgow-based Word on the Street team of reporters and photographers – along with London guest writers, who also have experience of the homelessness – has been working hard on a special edition that tells it how it is: benefit sanctions, a cartoon about hostel life and how football can change the world, for starters. The WOTS team is: Iain Alan, Brenda Brown, Brian Dobbie, Jason Kelly, Peter Kelly, Jim Little, Caroline McCue, Alex McKay, Patrick O’Hare and Roddy Woods. Thanks, team!

19 August 2011

Wow.  The Pavement’s Homeless City Guide, which appears in every issue of the magazine, has made it into New York’s Museum of Modern Art. 

Latest Stories


Homelessness shames Glasgow

 12 July 2017

Sean Baillie © Jamie Jackson

Over the next few issues we’ll meet some of the campaigners trying to highlight the need to end homelessness. Jamie Jackson talks to Sean Baillie, who set up the Homelessness Shames Glasgow campaign

What’s the inspiration for Homelessness Shames Glasgow?
We’re not trained in any sort of help with addiction or other complicated issues that can arise when someone is homeless. But we want to provide solidarity; that’s the one thing nobody else is doing. Everybody else is doing great work. But the scale of it [homelessness]… we can’t just continue to rely on the goodwill of the people that are helping. There needs to be political change. We need to make this a hot topic.

How did you get started?
At the start of the campaign we had demonstrations in the street and a vigil for Matthew [Bloomer, a 28-year-old rough sleeper who died in Glasgow city centre on a freezing night in March]. His death really brought to light the severity of the issue. We all saw what had been going on as we’d all been trying to help beforehand just as a loose group of people – we’d been doing drops of food, sleeping bags and toiletries, and over the winter we’d tried to ask the council to come up with a property, staffed by us, to be used as a daytime drop-in. That idea was totally knocked on the head [by authorities]. But Matthew’s death really spurred us on to say there needs to be something more here, more hard-hitting.

What else have you done?
We made over a dozen banners and dropped them in highly visible places and city landmarks and just made sure everyone in the city seen these. It was well received and picked up by the newspapers. We also campaigned in the run up to the council elections and we made it a big issue for the council election.

We went to Shelter [homeless charity] hustings: there the guy chairing it putting pressure on a Labour councillor asking about our banners. In the future we’d like to a voter registration drive. We’re kicking ourselves that we missed the chance this election. Getting people who are homeless or who have no fixed abode and have them register to vote is so important. Politicians should answer directly to the people.


Homeless Grenfell survivors afraid of deportation

 10 July 2017

Paying tribute to Grenfell Victims © ChiralJon, Creative Commons
Volunteers helping with the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire have reported that many of the survivors are afraid to seek housing, medical and legal help because they fear deportation.

Volunteer doctors and lawyers claim that many of the survivors of 14 June’s Grenfell Tower fire - which claimed at least 79 lives - are now avoiding coming forward to get NHS-provided aid.
It is not known whether some undocumented migrants, not added to the official death toll, may still be missing or whether they have failed to come forward due to fears that their details will be passed to the Home Office by support services.
In January 2017, the UK government and NHS Digital (where our patient information is stored) signed an agreement stating that the Home Office now has easier access to our “confidential” patient information to help them track down, arrest and deport migrants without full UK immigration status.
One of the volunteer doctors, Dr. Paquita de Zulueta, told the Guardian newspaper of a North African lady who fell down the tower’s stairwell whilst escaping the fire, hitting her head and losing consciousness for a few minutes. When Dr. de Zulueta discovered the woman had numerous signs of a potential brain injury, she told her to go to A&E.
“She was very reluctant,” she told the Guardian. “When I asked if she was frightened to go, she nodded. I told her there would be no repercussions and that she would be safe.”
Last month Theresa May said in a statement that Grenfell survivors would not be at risk of immigration checks while receiving vital medical treatment.
“We will not use this tragic incident as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved,” the prime minister said. “We will make sure that all victims, irrespective of their immigration status, will be able to access the services they need, including healthcare and accommodation.”
However the fear persists in migrant communities. People who do not have full UK immigration status are not allowed to work in the UK or access many services including the benefits system and free NHS health care.
Back in April, the Pavement reported that some leading homelessness charities in London were working with the Home Office to have rough sleepers deported for not having the correct immigration status. Migrant rights group claim this has led to a breakdown in trust towards many support services on offer to the Grenfell fire’s survivors.
Campaigners, including Anna Miller of Doctors of the World, have been attempting to overturn the deal made earlier this year between the Home Office and NHS Digital.
Anna’s petition was live before the Grenfell tower fire, but has gained a lot of momentum since the tragedy. As she writes on the 38 Degrees page: “Vulnerable, sick and injured people are not going to NHS hospitals and GP surgeries because they fear it could lead to their arrest – including most recently survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.
“Patient confidentiality is essential for NHS staff to be able to do their job – and yet there has been no consultation with NHS staff or the public about this deal. Concerns raised by medical organisations have been ignored and the agreement was made in secret.
“The deal makes some of the UK’s most vulnerable people scared of getting healthcare.”
In response Doctors of the World, which operates in disaster zones across the globe, has been forced to set up a clinic nearby to help homeless and injured Grenfell survivors.
Sign the petition here:

News in brief, July 2017

 05 July 2017

Big Issue for EU Migrants

A Romanian woman who used to sell the Big Issue magazine has received a harsh ruling from a judge meaning she can no longer receive benefits.

The woman registered as self-employed and began selling the magazine about three months after she came to the UK.

Her status as a self-employed worker opened the door to receiving Working Tax Credits, but following a decision by Judge Kate Markus, QC, she is no longer eligible for government support.

The judge decided that the woman's business was 'not viable' as she did not make enough money through it – the woman fell around £100 short of the £157-per-week wage that EU migrants are expected to make.


New service to help 700 people

People sleeping rough in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes are being offered a new service from 26 June due to a partnership between local councils.

The service will also target people who are at risk of becoming homeless to prevent them from moving onto the streets.

The £623,000funding received will enable the service to run for two years.


Every Little Bit Helps

A Sydney-based charity has caused a stir through encouraging a new way to donate to homeless people in Australia.

People staying in hotels all over the world tend to take a freebie with them as they check out, whether it's a bottle of shower gel, a bar of soap or a miniature toothpaste.

Every Little Bit Helps asks people to donate these often un-used freebies and distributes them among homeless people, and since 2014 has provided over 20,000 kits to individuals in and around Sydney.

Founder of the charity, Katryna Robinson, told ABC News, "We want to fill a void that is there and without our services, what we found is simply [toiletries] weren't being offered."


Contactless donation points

Electronic contactless donation points are now operational across Bristol, allowing passers by to make quick £2 donations to rough sleepers.

Money raised will go to the Safer Off the Streets (SOS) project, which aims to raise £100,000 for four local night shelters run by different homelessness charities.

David Ingerslev of St Mungo's and Rough Sleeping Partnership welcomed the development: "There is nothing else like this in Bristol".


Help Bristol's Homeless

The founder of social enterprise Help Bristol's Homeless has been working with a group of homeless people to construct innovative new homes.

Jasper Thompson is working to convert old shipping containers into fully functioning homes, stating the project helps create a sense of ownership and achievement for everyone involved.

Thompson told the BBC they have "big dreams" to develop the idea.


Single parents win benefits challenge at High Court

A High Court judge has ruled that the countrywide benefits cap is discriminatory towards a group of single parents in London.

The benefits cap currently sits at £20,000 (£23,000 for Londoners), and was deemed insufficient to support four lone-parent families, two of whom had been made homeless due to domestic violence.

According to the BBC, the ruling will enable extra financial help to be offered to the families. They told the courts they were facing a "real misery" from the benefit caps, which can only be avoided by those working more than 16-hours per week.


Homeless surge under Tories

The number of homeless people in the UK has risen by 34 per cent since 2010, when the Conservatives came into power, the Independent reported.

It claimed this could be linked to an enormous 97 per cent decrease in the number of government-funded houses for social rent since 2010.

In 2010–11, more than 36,700 socially-rented homes were built, but 2016-17 this number dropped to just 1,102 new homes.


Housing First shows success

Glasgow is to become the latest in a growing number of cities to show the success of the Housing First approach to homelessness services.

The model has been successful all over the globe, and has been used extensively in the USA and Finland.

Patrick Mckay, of Turning Point Scotland, told the Evening Times the Housing First model has an undeniable success rate. He said: "It might sound really simple but its radical and it says we are going to take people from the street and we are going to give them accommodation."


Chester hostel may close

Labour-lead Cheshire West and Chester Council is proposing the closure of Richmond Court in Boughton.

The proposal is a direct reversal of the previous Tory council's decision to centralise homelessness services into a big 46-bed facility at Richmond Court, which is thought of by many as a magnet for trouble.

The council plans to divide services into smaller, more spread out accommodation units across the area, with extra emergency beds.

New benefits laws in Scotland

The Social Security Bill will give ministers powers over 11 benefits which were devolved to Scottish control under the Scotland Act 2016.

The new laws will include the increase of the carer's allowance from summer 2018, and increased start-up grant and funder expense assistance from summer 2019.

Citizens Advice Scotland social security spokesman Rob Gowans told the Daily Record: “While full details of the new system are still to be decided, there is much to be welcomed in today’s Bill.”


Hawaii doctors could prescribe houses to homeless

A groundbreaking new proposal in Hawaii is suggesting that doctors should be able to prescribe housing to homeless people. Instead of providing long-term medical treatment to rough sleepers, the new bill would prescribe them a home – the ultimate cure to poor health.

State senator Josh Green told the Guardian: “We’re [currently] just paying for it in the most inefficient, expensive way possible.”


Atos Healthcare changes name

The company which carried out the controversial work capability assessments for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have changed their name to Independent Assessment Services (IAS).

The company, based in France, carried out assessments that lead to many disabled Scots wrongfully losing their benefits.

The £500 million Atos contract was cancelled after years of controversy, but the newly named IAS company is set to start a new five-year contract with the DWP worth over £700million.


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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484