What Is Your Emergency Accommodation Hell

ETHRAG – The Emergency and Temporary Housing Residents Action Group based in Brighton and Hove, have been in contact with a filmmaker who is doing a documentary on the dismantling of social housing  and effects on peoples lives.

If you live in Emergency Accommodation in Brighton and Hove then this affects you, I really want to highlight what is it like living in Emergency Accommodation, in Brighton and Hove in the last 2 years £4om has been spent paying private limited companies and individuals  to house the vulnerable.

I am look for people who want to speak out, either on firm by getting involved in future ETHRAG projects or anonymously. You are welcome to submit your story by emailing daniel@survivorblog.co.uk with your story alternatively we can meet for an informal chat.

This is about humanising the effects that not having secure council housing and how this is affecting our lives.

Are You A Care Leaver?

I am concerned that there are young care leavers under the age of 21 in Emergency Accommodation or even homeless and sofa surfing, as a care leaver myself I want to highlight your issues to help get you into the right accommodation.

Mentally Or Physically Disabled

The standards in Emergency Accommodation can at times be shocking, how does this affect you if you have a Mental, Physical or even Learning Disability? visitors are often not allowed, lifts break down, there are lack of lifts and many stairs, how does the isolation affect you? I am really concerned that the affects of living in Emergency Accommodation is actually making peoples health worse in some instances.

Are You Living With A Terminal Illness?

I have heard reports that there are people living with a terminal illness living in Emergency Accommodation, I think is this unacceptable and strips the vulnerable of dignity. Is this something you can associate with? Contact me with your story.

Have You Simply Had Enough?

Fire alarms, leaks, smells, lack of cooking facilities, neglect, depressed, tired, hungry, in recovery whatever the reason, I understand. Why not put into words why you have had enough, the council aren’t listening and I think its time we all start to take a little more ownership and share our stories. You can read on this blog that I’ve reported much, nut now I need you.

We are hoping to start a new project based on these stories which will give you even more opportunities to get involved and contribute, there is much that needs to be done, but I promise you that things are starting to become public and this is putting much pressure on polititions, landlords, businesses, Dr’s and many other key people involved in changing things for the better.

Again you can email me daniel@survivorblog.co.uk with your stories or if you want to meet up informally. You can also add me on social media. Facebook, Twitter

Image of Voices Matter Choir

Why Music Will Help Care Leavers – A Crowdfunding Project

I am Daniel Harris, I have Bipolar and PTSD – I was in CARE!

After having a mental health breakdown last year and finding myself homeless I found other care leavers with a passion for music though a great charity called Rees Foundation.

What Is The Project About

We devised our first performance in just 4 hours and had no sound check on the day, it was the first time I had been on stage for 14 years and the 700 strong audience made up of foster kids, kids in care homes, and those adopted.

I am hoping to raise £5000 to record the album – Interested in finding out more about the Voices Matter project, contact us for more information.

We wanted to continue the inspiration we provided those kids in care and travel nationwide in the future to use performance art and music as a way to inspire these ‘looked after children’ we want to give them hopes and dreams for the future and we need your help.

Nattylyn and her 11 year old talented son Zion (who you can see beat boxing in the video for Mad World) are also massively inspired by music, Zion plays drums and experiments musically.

Nattylyn has faced her own demons, she is a fighter and a talented musician and vocalist.

Nattylyn is based in Leeds.

Carlena is a fighter, another care leaver she suffers from Alopecia and is partially death, she is active with kids in care and is based in Doncaster.

Greg Keyboard was in care, today he works with kids in care and is a talented keyboard player.

Ian – Is a care leaver and talented rapper, his lyrics are emotionally raw and fits in well with the ethos of Voices Matter which is to use the powers of word to make people think.

We have a music producer and we are writing the lyrics for the album as we speak, the whole process will take 6-8 months, we need your support to help us raise awareness and make a difference to those affected or touched by the care system, fostering and adoption.


Voices Matter Facebook Page

We want to record an original single and album and tour the countries care homes inspiring kids in care through performance art and music.

Please pledge or buy a reward to help us Voices Matter transform the lives of previously looked after children and those currently in the care system.

Thank you for reading, with so many cuts and many of them affecting Children’s Services I need your support to help support and inspire the next generation through music and expression. Please pledge and support Voices Matter today. http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/voicesmatter

Thank you.

Daniel

 

Image of the Sponsors

Its a Mad World out there for Children in Care. Voices Matter Cover the Gary Jules version

Last year when I had a mental breakdown following 6 days of mania, confusion, paranoia, Euphoric highs, I was literally on high alert, I had an over active mind and I crashed into a depressive state.  Then I found the Rees Foundation, a charity for previously looked after children, care leavers.

Who are Rees Foundation?     download

Only a few years young this national charity goes further than many across the country, they help to empower care leavers of any age, I am 32 and Nattylyn another service user is 36 they have supported us, linked us to each other and provided us with respite from our difficult and stressful lives right now.

If you have left care and feel ready to truly move forward in life and dream again then the Rees Foundation is for you,  Afshan the Project Development Manager, initially contacted me, she LISTENED. A few months back I got invited to a Revolution event organised by Rees Foundation, and met other care leavers like myself, we looked at personal development, education and employment.

It was such a great day and an experience I will remember forever, I met some lovely people who finally understood me and I understood them.

On the train journey home, I started singing and someone said you have a good voice, I rebutted the compliment as I struggle to accept them, we all started singing and I was like we should do a Rees Foundation Choir. Little did I know Voices Matter were born.

Voices Matter Perform Mad World at the Big Sing Off 2016.

Performance Image Four People on Stage
Voices Matter Performing Mad World (Left to Right: Nattylyn, Zion, Daniel & Carlena)

The audience was 700 strong, the atmosphere was fun, emotional and energetic, full of happy children currently living in care and full of foster mums and dads.

Remember from my own experiences what you see in front of you with one of these kids is not what they have experienced, all of these kids have suffered trauma of some sort, some were sexually abused like me, some were simply not wanted or taken away from voilent homes or abusive parents.

One child said “this is the best day of my life’

He wasn’t wrong I had an absolutely amazing time and some very much needed fun and relaxation. There was Greg a care leaver on the KeyBoard (out of sight) Zion, Son or Nattylyn (a care leaver) Carlena (Care Leaver) and Myself and a special appearance from another care leaver Ian.  Below is the performance, this was arranged only a few weeks ago and we had our first rehearsal the day before, we had no sound check on the day, but we had so much fun!!!

Just like at the Full Council Meeting, this performance took me outside my comfort zone, I was bricking it, the last time I was on stage was 14 years ago.

How Did I Feel After The Performance……AMAZING!!!

It was hard to leave that special day behind and come back to the emergency accommodation I am in, after becoming diagnosed last week with Bipolar whilst I am happy to have a reason for being the way I am, I have a fresh determination to push forward and expose the conditions in these places and the scandal of what it is doing to care leavers like me.

We need to push for better services for children in care and care leavers because we have a voice and our Voices Matter.

As always you can find out more about the voices matter project by clicking here. Contact me by clicking me here I also welcome to comment below.

Finally I never ask for personal support, however the Rees Foundation rely on Grants and Donations, if you were touched by this then head over to the Rees Foundation Website and donate and help us care leavers to continue doing this every year.

Picture gallery of the Day will be uploaded soon.

Blessings

Daniel

Voices-Matter
Left to Right: Nattylyn, Daniel, Carlena & Jim. Big Sing Off 2016 Singing Waltzing Jan to celebrate Jan Rees’s OBE Award in this years New Years Honours Lust for Services to Children.