Staying Alive – Walk Tall Charity Video
At Scamp Solutions we produce a wide range of creative content, but every now and again we are gifted a brief which has the potential to really make a difference. We were recently commissioned by Kent County Council to film a theatre performance giving a voice to street sleepers as their stories were brought to life on stage.
Paddy Daniel, Project Manager, tells us more.
“Nobody sees me”, “Nobody hears me”, “Nobody cares”. These powerful words open the drama presenting the stories of street sleepers experiencing severe mental health issues and suicide attempts. They formed the common theme which emerged from the research project into homelessness and suicide prevention carried out by the charity Walk Tall alongside the homeless guests who use the drop-in centre at Gravesend Methodist Church Community Centre.
The KCC funded project, gave street sleepers the opportunity to be listened to and for their stories to be given a voice. Over a seven-week period lunch was provided for any vulnerable person who wanted to come along, followed by an afternoon of drama activities. During this time their stories were given a voice and were work-shopped by actors to produce a piece of theatre highlighting the realities of street sleeping and suicide.
It is estimated that 4,677 people a night sleep rough on the streets in England. What do you do and where do you go if you are street homeless, possibly without recourse to public funds, and feeling desperate? There is always the drop-in centre but that is not always open, or if it is open there may not be a quiet space to talk to a volunteer. What if you have lost your family? Seen your children taken into care? What happens when the crisis team can’t support you because your immigration status provides no funding? Who really notices? Who really cares? These are all themes that were explored through the project.
Speaking after the drama one woman who contributed to the project commented;
“It really hit home to hear what I had been through explored through one of the characters. It was very emotional, and I feel it gave other people a chance to understand just what it is like to be in that predicament … to know that someone listens really helps take away that feeling that I’m standing in a room screaming but no-one has heard me”.
To be listened to and given a voice may not solve everything but it can and does encourage and support those who for whatever reason are feeling desperate and homeless.