Monday 20th April
When I set up Expert Focus in June 2019, the aim was to continue to challenge the causes of homelessness and social exclusion. I had previously led an involvement programme for a national charity, gaining internationally recognition along the way. In some form or another, I have been in the homelessness sector for most of my adult life.
During my life I have been a kid in care, a runaway, a rough sleeper, a prisoner, a patient, a parent, a hostel resident, a volunteer, an employee and now a company director.
Feeling the freedom to talk openly about my journey gave me the strength to help others talk about theirs. There was always a light bulb moment in the room as someone in the audience learnt that the journey they were listening to was not so different to theirs.
Some of the stories of other people’s lives were often harrowing and at the same time regularly humbling, but they were needed to help provide a deeper understanding of the complexities which exist for some. They would often drive through the agenda for joined up approaches in the search for a solution to homelessness and social exclusion.
Supporting the voices of other to come alive has been THE single most satisfying element of my working life.
But, it is not always talking about lived experiences, sometime just having a human connection, feeling that you have some common ground between people is just as rewarding.
As the Covid-19 pandemic rapidly brought the entire world to a virtual standstill, more and more people have begun to find themselves feeling isolated, vulnerable, and alone; similar feelings to those experienced by someone who is homeless or socially excluded.
So, would the same approach work on a much larger scale? Do people need to feel that they have a connection with a total stranger, something they have in common?
Would hearing the stories of other peoples lives help to show the similarities and not the differences?
Could this begin to build the sort of social connect we will need if we are to work toward rebuilding our battered communities?
In a series of recorded phone conversations called ‘IT’S OVER TO YOU’, we will be hearing about the lives of others, listening as they share their stories with all of us, their journey’s, their experiences. We will be hearing from healthcare professional about the changes we could be seeing to healthcare in the coming months, from homeless people about what it is like to be socially distancing when they are already feeling socially excluded. One guest will recount his motorbike journey down the west coast of Africa,, where he was joined by a very strange travelling companion, and a taxi driver who talks about what it is like to drive a cab for 30 years in London.
But that’s not all, motor mechanics becoming teachers for their children, partners of someone in hospital with an unrelated illness but they still can’t see them…the list goes one
I hope you enjoy them, if you do, tell others, if you don’t tell me. And if you want to be a guest, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contacts page
click here to go to the recordings page and don’t forget, show you care and share across your social network site.