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Pavement projects

Lodging House Mission, Glasgow © Ilisa Stack

 

Pavement Glasgow Group, November 18th 2017

At the Pavement we see things a bit differently. All our stories are written with our homeless readers firmly in mind. Our writers and photographers are volunteers and many of them have first hand experience of homelessness too, as well as some of the issues that can go hand-in-hand with that. We think it shows and it helps us create a magazine that has your interests at heart.

We’re always looking to increase the number of volunteers working with us who know what it’s like to have been there, done that. And we also want to give people who have been homeless the help and support they need to make their ideas into articles and images. To help us do that we fundraise to run training projects in our distribution cities. Right now we have two projects running.

From the Ground Up, London

This is the second time we’re running From the Ground Up. It’s part of a three-year project in partnership with homeless charity Groundswell and it’s funded by Comic Relief. Our current participants are receiving support and training from award winning journalists. At outreach sessions they get the chance to speak to other homeless people to find out about the stories that matter to them and think about how they take them from idea to the page.

This year’s intake of “peer journalists”, who all have experience of homelessness, are already working hard on their ideas for their first special edition of the Pavement. We can’t wait to see the results early next year.

To be kept informed of our next application deadline contact Rob: Rob.Edgar@groundswell.org.uk

 

The Pavement Network project in Glasgow

Working with the Lodging House Mission day centre in Glasgow this project is about mapping the network of places that offer help and support for those who are – or have experienced – homelessness and other issues that can make us feel excluded.

We’re not just interested in places that offer emergency help. We’re also looking to capture – in word, sounds and images – the places that can help us rebuild our lives, from volunteering opportunities to community meals and bike projects. We’ll be out taking photos and doing interviews, and are creating a blog. With the help an artist we’re also building a visual map of all the information we gather.

All sessions are open to everyone – no experience required – and all materials provided. Suggestions are always welcome so come along to our Tuesday morning sessions from 10-12noon at the Lodging House Mission, Glasgow and help us network.

To find out more contact Karin: karin@thepavement.org.uk

At one of our first sessions of the Network project participants discussed what they want for the services supporting them. Here’s what we wrote together.

At the best places you’re always welcome. You could look like death warmed up and someone will still say: “Morning”. They treat you like a person. In the evening it’s: “Hello my friend” and out goes the hand. Manners, treating someone well, wee friendly things, that makes a big difference.

But at the some time there are some questions you don’t want asked. As someone who is a different colour I don’t want to always be asked: “Where are you from?” That’s not always a friendly question. It can be about questioning: “Are you legally here? Are you entitled to what we are offering?”

What you’re looking for is somewhere that’s welcoming to anyone, where everyone is treated the same. If it’s somewhere where some people pay, like a café or a community meal, then you still don’t to be treated differently if you are there for what they offer for free. It shouldn’t matter.

Religion can create a barrier – it can make it feel like people will only help you if you fit their criteria. There can be practical reasons like if you’re Muslim you want to eat Halal and some people might want that but it’s important there are no conditions put on the help that is offered.

It’s nice to go to somewhere that is a lovely place. If you know that someone is taking pride in how somewhere looks then it makes you think they will also treat people well. It’s wee touches, like a garden or a nice place to sit.

What you call me matters too. Some people hate the word service user – not everyone does, I know it’s factual – you’re using a service. But it can be stigma. I don’t want to be in this situation. I’m trying to stand on my own feet.

Customer or client is sometimes relevant – like if I’m in a B&B or hostel and as a result of me they are earning £700 a week then the owner or the staff should treat me with some respect! Member is a nice word because it feels like you part of something.

Having somewhere that’s in the community – a community centre – that works well. You can meet other people that are part of the same struggle. It should be run by the community itself, it’s more likely to be longer lasting. Even when there’s no money about the people who are part of that community will help each other. They have a common cause.

Written jointly by members of the Pavement Glasgow group

 

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Jan/Feb 2018

 
 

London edition (PDF 712KB)

 

Scottish edition (PDF 589KB)