Tag: housing

#FacesofCHADD – Telling the stories of the people behind the services.

Over the last few weeks we have been working on a storytelling project with CHADD: Churches Housing Association of Dudley & District

I (Steph) have been visiting the various services that CHADD offer and shooting the staff and residents. This has included a Domestic Violence Refuge, their Foyer accommodation for 16 – 25 year old’s and their sheltered housing schemes.

The aim was to capture a portrait and story that demonstrated the #FacesofCHADD, the people behind the services. Some of the stories I’ve heard have been heartbreaking, Some touching, and some very amusing but they all show the very human side of the services that CHADD offer, the stories that often get forgotten as organisations are reporting KPIs, on outputs rather than outcomes.

Here’s an example of just a few of them.

Over the next few months more photos and the accompanying stories will be appearing over on CHADD’s facebook page.

Like their page and keep your eye out for more updates.

Telling the stories of homeless people in the UK using social media – Mark Horvath is coming from over the pond


Sometimes the difference we make is looking at things with fresh eyes.  It seems to me that that is what Mark Horvath plans to do when he visits Britain to gather and share stories of homelessness here.

He’s crowdsourcing funds in the USA for a project to spend a month in the uk helping homeless people tell their stories. British Airways have donated the flights and others are helping.  I’ve been watching Mark’s work and he comes withe the blessing of Beth Kanter. The video explain what a difference traveling can make for him.  As he says on his blog

The first signs of a serious homelessness crisis in England’s towns and cities are emerging, with increases in rough sleeping, street drinking, crime and antisocial behavior as a result of swingeing cuts to hostel and housing services. Charities have warned that official figures showing a 14% rise in people classed as homeless are just the “tip of the iceberg”, because they fail to capture huge numbers who have been displaced from their home and are living with friends, in hostels or on the streets. For 10 days early July Invisible People will tour the UK helping homeless people and homeless services tell their story.

A generous donor will be matching every donation up to $3,000 so your donations will be doubled.  Join us, be the one helping tell how the story turns out for so many of our homeless friends in the UK.

If you want to donate here is his chipin account:


Does no pay make you more powerful? Grassroots Channel Programme 21

I’ve just spent a wonderful morning with two women who are both directors of Witton Lodge Community Association. Linda Hines has been involved for 15 years while Michelle Ashmore got stuck in just two or three years ago.

The Association has been working really closely with Birmingham City Council and other partners to drive through a huge regeneration project for Perry Common in the north of the city. It began with the bombshell that hundreds of homes were so structurally unsound they would have to be demolished.

The association is really central to its success for two reasons. First the 14 unpaid (and mostly resident) directors have a common sense idea of how to help the community thrive. Secondly the council was unable to raise the money for rebuilding on its own. The finance was only possible because of the association. Their hard won expertise is now being shared through the governments Guide Neighbourhoods programme (along with Balsall Heath and Castle Vale)

If you scroll down you can listen to their lively (and sometimes tearful) conversation and find out why both directors are convinced that much of their power derives from them being unpaid. So much so that wouldn’t want it any other way. Oh and please leave any comments here on the blog.


The Worst Slum in Europe

Natalie Brade and Sir Albert Bore
Natalie Brade and Sir Albert Bore

Programme 12 eavesdrops on a conversation between two people whose relationship began with intense frustration and conflict.   Natalie Brade and Councillor Sir Albert Bore: one a practical active citizen, the other a senior politician, met when Natalie began protesting about housing conditions on what was then the Lee Bank estate in Ladywood.

Now they work together running Optima Community Association.  A little longer than usual, this programme is a rare opportunity to hear a citizen and politician explaining how their relationship unfolded through the battle to regenerate Lee Bank in Birmingham.

Written version of Natalie’s story as a pdf (dead link)
Optima Community Association (dead link redirects)
ODPM Award for Sustainable Communities (dead link)