The Pavement is a charity which has been producing a magazine for homeless people since 2005. Now it has created a one-off booklet for rough sleepers and insecurely housed people who have been provided with temporary accommodation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘Health & Wellbeing In A Crisis’ is a 32 page booklet full of ideas to stay mentally and physically strong. It also contains information on how to access benefits and find reliable sources at a time when scams, urban myths and fake news have escalated.
Since lockdown began in March many people, who are homeless have had to self-isolate. They may be under a roof but many of the services they relied on have switched to online and life can be very boring. While for those with addictions an unplanned withdrawal of treatment can even be life-threatening.
“Almost all the content has been created with people who have at some point been homeless,” says the Pavement editor Nicola Baird. “We also worked closely with Groundswell which is a brilliant organisation. At its heart is a strong belief in the meaningful involvement of people with lived experience of homelessness in the decision-making process that informs the design, development and delivery of the policies and services that affect their own lives.”
Mainstream media ideas of how to relax or stay busy indoors are not always possible for The Pavement readers who are temporarily housed, perhaps in a hotel room with just a TV and maybe a kettle. Big Issue vendors contributed to the publication including Kris who shares how to make pasta in an electric kettle.
“The massive commitment and dedication of our volunteers (many of whom have lived experience of homelessness) the rest of our amazing small team and of our partners, has enabled the Pavement to respond quickly and decisively to the vital information needs of homeless people in this pandemic,” says the Pavement trustee William Butler.
15,000 copies of ‘Health & Wellbeing In A Crisis’ are being distributed in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Newcastle and Greater Manchester. You can download a digital copy here.
The publication has been funded by a Crisis ‘In This Together Emergency Response Award’.