Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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We are two

May 18 2009
‚Äö?Ñ??...highlighting the pressure councils were applying to close soup runs, and the ripples caused by Building Based Services‚Äö?Ñ?? ‚Äö?Ñ??...highlighting the pressure councils were applying to close soup runs, and the ripples caused by Building Based Services‚Äö?Ñ??
The Pavement is two years old this month This being Issue 24 of a monthly magazine, it marks our second anniversary. When The Pavement first hit the streets in 2005, it was a small affair - no office and just four pairs of hands to interview, write, design and organise. The paper, which back then took the form of an A4 newsletter, was created in internet cafes and on borrowed machines. But The Pavement was born out of need for better coverage of all the issues affecting people on the streets, what services are available, and more importantly, to blow the whistle on some questionable things that were happening in the 'homeless industry.' Once the original idea was conceived, it was a painstaking couple of months before the first copy of The Pavement would come out. As no one had ever heard of the paper, it was tough at first to get people to take it seriously. Even some of the target audience was sceptical. Some thought it was from one of the large shelter charities, or even Westminster Council, but once people had a chance to look through a copy, it became apparent that The Pavement was independent. Even after its launch, things did not run smoothly. Every month there was just enough money in the kitty to print the paper, and finally the funds ran out, leaving The Pavement to go back to the drawing board. What it came up with was the idea of printing posters - it needed to get the news out and this was the cheapest way to do it. However, the posters proved popular, especially in hostels, and are still printed alongside the magazine. The re-launch of The Pavement as an A5 glossy colour magazine was something that the editor had wanted to do for sometime - not only for the aesthetic qualities, but also to make it easier to fit in the pocket. So in February 2006, the first issue of the new version of the paper hit the streets. Over the last two years, The Pavement has had journalists from all over the world work for it, seasoned hacks or student writers hungry to find the news. They have covered a real mixed bag of stories - heart-warmers like Tom Goodfellow, the product designer who created a lightweight portable bed, to quizzing authorities about the incongruous head count figures, and from soup runs to drugs alerts. It has opened with a broad series of topics to cover, including concerns over the consequences of attempts to prevent people sleeping in certain parts of Westminster, highlighting the pressure councils were applying to close soup runs, and the ripples caused by Building Based Services. And it has tried to contact the policy makers - from the Mayor to the Leader of the Opposition and Sir Menzies - trying to present a view from every political perspective. Some, of course, have been happier to talk on the subject than others. It has also had a column written in Polish, to inform some of the many immigrants that had entered the country and found themselves on the streets, and have slowly developed a more international perspective, bringing stories of how other communities respond to the ever-present pressures applied by the authorities. However, one thing has always been constant, though not named until recently; the mascot, Pavement Pete. The cartoons then, as now, were drawn voluntarily by the best there are - Nick Baker, Neil Bennett, Pete Dredge, Kathryn Lamb, John Longstaff, Ed McLaclan, Ken Pyne, Steve Way, and Mike Williams. In future, people will be able to pick up copies far outside of the country's capital. The Pavement has secured funding to set up a version in Scotland, and is currently scouring Edinburgh and Glasgow for the brightest talent to take on the role of Scottish editor. And once that has been launched, it'll be considering which cities to look at next. As for the locals in London, there are plenty of projects the magazine is working on to better inform people of what is really going on out there. The Pavement is planning a network of message boards around the city that will enable people to have access to the most up-to-date information it can lay our hands on, in the style of an old-fashioned parish notice board. For those of you who are a bit more up to speed with the digital world, it is continuing to work on the website, with a redesign planned for the next two months, that will see it become more interactive. As ever, what every magazine or paper really needs to know is what you think it could do better, and most definitely, if there are stories out there that you think haven't been covered - get in touch.