Our community reporters are all people from all over the UK who are or have experienced homelessness during COVID-19. They use their mobile phones to document their first-hand experience of what is happening and that of others in their community.
We have reporters from across the country in our network, some have chosen to remain anonymous.
I'm Claire, I'm 43 years old and almost 3 years ago I was released after serving a life sentence. My chaotic life style started at the age of 17 when I find myself without a roof over my head and addicted to drugs. Since my release, I have found a job with a local charity. They fought to get the funding to employ me and give me another chance. I now volunteer alongside work to help others. I'm also passionate about systems change. There's a lot to change, no two ways about it. My end goal is to have a career helping others.
Charlie Radbourne has more than six years, peer support and advocacy experience. Sitting on many service user forums and local authority committees. Due to mental health problems, coming under CMHT and the crisis team, Charlie spent eight months sleeping rough and in the local night shelter, then four years in a hostel / supported accommodation.
Hi my name is Laura, I am a tour guide based in Manchester, educating people around issues people are facing with homelessness. I started this reporting to report on issues facing people who I know and meet, to say what is on their minds and for people to understand what's happening with others.
Paul Atherton, of London, who was made homeless 10 years ago due to an error made by credit agencies confusing him with someone else of the same name, the lasting effects of that mistake leaving him homeless for the last 10 years. He currently sleeps at Heathrow terminal 5.
Paul Atherton is a campaigning film-maker, playwright & artist. His work has been screened on the Coca-Cola Billboard on Piccadilly Circus, Premiered at the Leicester Square Odeon Cinema, his video-diary has been collected into the permanent collection of the Museum of London and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
He achieved most of this whilst Homeless, an ongoing experience that has been his life for over a decade in London. In the last two years he's made Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 his bedroom and became part of what he coined the #HeathrowHomeless before being moved into emergency hotel accommodation for the duration of Covid-Lockdown in Marylebone on 3rd April 2020.
In the past ten years he's experienced every homeless initiative that Charities, Local Authorities and the City has had to offer. All of which clearly failed.
With the end of “Everyone In” on 3rd July 2020 Paul has no idea where his next move is going to be, but he expects he'll be returning to Heathrow.
Jo joined Groundswell in 2020 as Research Manager. She will be working on our national #HealthNow research and alongside our Insight and Action team on various other research projects. Jo previously worked as Research Officer for a local Healthwatch organisation and completed a secondment for Healthwatch England to support patient engagement on the NHS Long Term Plan. Jo has recently completed her PhD in Social Policy which explored the experiences of welfare conditionality on people with impairments. She is passionate about promoting equality and ensuring people with lived experience are central to the research process.
Mat came to Groundswell in 2018 after several years as a volunteer for the Pavement Magazine where he is now Deputy Editor. Part of his role at the Pavement was to help deliver ‘From the Ground Up’, a partnership between the Pavement and Groundswell that taught core journalism skills to people with lived experience of homelessness. As a project worker he continues to develop his one on one interview skills and runs focus groups all over the country. Mat’s involved in all parts of the research process, helping to produce: research frameworks; the foundation questions for semi-structured qualitative interviews and focus groups,; the content of quantitative surveys and data analysis. He also has experience of speaking at conferences, working on grant applications, podcast production and as a consultant for film production.
I'm Sheryle Thomas. I live in London .
I was homeless on/ off for 24 years. I am now in supported housing. I am a keen activist / feminist who helps support women experiencing homelessness and volunteers within a group to help with period poverty whilst experiencing homelessness.
I am a mother of 4 ,an artist, and a survivor of domestic violence/childhood sexual abuse. I work with Groundswell focusing on supporting women and also as peer support to women with mental illness. I myself have dual disability EUPD and CPTSD. I tell stories through the written and spoken word, and create artwork about people's words being spells.