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From the Ground Up

December 05 2016
Do you want to become a journalist? Read on...

Groundswell and the Pavement have joined forces to start a new journalism project that aims to help homeless people speak up on the issues that matter.

In the joint project ‘From the Ground Up’, homeless people will be supported by journalists to highlight and write about the most important issues they are facing in their lives.

From the Ground Up, funded by Comic Relief for three years, will involve training people who have experience of homelessness to be peer journalists, writing for the magazine. The new writers will join existing Pavement writers with lived experience of homelessness, using their first hand knowledge as a starting point for articles.

Julz, one of 10 peer journalists on the project, said: “Having been homeless myself, I’m interested in helping other homeless people. From the Ground Up is exciting as it will give us a chance to highlight the issues that people on the street face. Things are getting harder and harder for people to survive, and I hope that we can start to find some solutions.”

So far, peer journalists have been out and about talking to people about the issues affecting them in day centres, drop-ins, on the street and beyond. And we’ve been demanding answers to tough questions from policy makers and service providers too.

Stephan, another peer journalist on the project, explained: “I think that people feel that if you are homeless, you don’t have any rights. Exploring the problems homeless people have and writing about them in the Pavement means that people can better understand their rights.

Early next year, Groundswell will also be running the first of six Action Days, which will bring together volunteers, homeless people, service staff and policy makers to look at the issues that have been highlighted. Our next two issues will feature their first articles.

Karin Goodwin, editor of the Pavement, said: “This project combines the expertise of homeless people with that of the journalists working alongside them. “It allows them to tell the stories that matter in new ways.”

Martin Burrows, project manager at Groundswell, said: “Groundswell aims to deliver genuine, long-term change to homeless people through improved services and policy, and reduced discrimination. We see this as one way to help do just that.”

If you'd like to find out how you can get involved, email karin@thepavement.org.uk

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