Monday, July 24, 2006


Hopefully you have read through some of my other blogs, and I guess that it would come as no surprise that I haven’t really got much of a work history. Living the nomadic lifestyle that I have and suffering many, often lengthy periods of depression, has meant that I have spent a considerable amount time shuffling from one place to another. But despite this I have still done some impressive stuff.

Some of my better achievements are these.

I wrote and narrated the hit radio series ‘Letters from the streets’. This was repeated due to popular demand and awarded slots on both ‘pick of the week’ and ‘pick of the year’ on radio 4. Not bad since I wrote the rough drafts on paper bags and McDonalds napkins. I have been a regular contributor for various media agencies since. I have commentated not only on homelessness but, also on art and television reviews, sport, the care system and fostering and adoption law changes among the long list of topics which I have an in-depth knowledge of.

Prior to the ’97 general election I was part of the team that launched the alternative manifesto for homeless people demanding basic rights such as 24 hour toilet and washing facilities, free access to doctors surgeries who would often decline health care because of the No Fixed Abode status. And anti discrimination laws that would mean employers would have the same rules for homeless people as they do for ethnic groups and the disabled.

Along with a small group of other homeless people ran a campaign to halt the closure programme of hostels funded under the rough sleepers initiative phase one. The final part of this was a march through London and a memorial service in Trafalgar Square celebrating the lives of those who had died as a direct result of sleeping rough. As part of this we released black balloons into the sky and managed to halt all air traffic in the south east legally. Finally I did a talk in front of about 1000 people some of who didn’t take part in the demo but were in the square at the time. We hit the front page of almost every national newspaper as well as national and international television and radio programmes.

I have offered my extensive insight into homeless, poverty, and social exclusion for a project called HAHA, in conjunction with the Workshop development unit based at the University of Hertfordshire. I provide high quality presentations on the need for dual diagnosis by service providers. This basically means that the providers look at the needs of the client in its entirety, offering a more joined up process for the delivery of care packages

Even when I was in prison I felt I had something to offer, I assisted with the ESOL (English as a second language) classes. Not only did this cover English but basic maths too.

I have assisted in providing lectures for some schools on the subject of homelessness as part of the citizenship classes. This forms of the National Curriculum.

My latest venture is proposing the implementation of a user led service aimed at getting homeless and marginalised people to take more control of their own care and creating a mechanism which empowers this group and makes them less dependent on the system as a result. I presented this to Watford Borough Council and a number of service providers. I received a mass of positives but the downside it appeared to them that a project of this magnitude would need to be a national one as there is so much to it and funding at local level is very limited.

If you would like a read a copy then email me and I will email back one to you.

But as I have said there have been periods of my life when just getting from day to day was all I could do. But after long sessions of counselling and personal development I have reached the stage where I can maintain this good stuff. And now all I really need to complete the next level of my own journey is a job.

I have so many experiences that are going to waste and given the chance I can offer so much to an employer. Somewhere along the line it will happen and I will fulfil the potential that I have been developing over the past few years.

I would be willing to do some volunteering for a while to fully show my potential but it would need to be with a view to getting employed. I have done a fair amount of volunteering in the past but it seems that although someone like me can offer lots to an agency for free when it comes to paying for it they snub the idea. This can in itself lead to despondency.


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