Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 22 February 2021

Emmaus Brighton & Hove Put Spotlight On Rough Sleepers Count As Lockdown Restrictions Are Set To Ease

As Brighton's lockdown restrictions are set to ease and many financial support packages are due to come to an end, attention will focus on the government's soon to be updated annual rough sleeper count.

As a snapshot of someone who found himself homeless before joining charity, Emmaus Brighton & Hove, we meet Pat who was in hospital for two years suffering with TB and was later evicted from his housing association flat, leaving him with no money and nowhere to live.

"I went for a weekend to visit an old friend who ran a pub in Belgium. He needed a break and offered me a job working at the bar. "

"The work was hard; from 9 am until 4 am the next morning, but I enjoyed the life there, just off the Grand Platz in the centre of Brussels, the Opera round the corner. 

"Then one lunchtime I unexpectedly collapsed in the street on my way to deposit the bar takings in the bank. 

"Four days later I woke up in hospital and could remember nothing about how I got there. 

"My first thought was for the money I had been carrying- where was it? 

"I was amazed to find it in my bedside cabinet and even more amazed to discover that I was seriously ill and that my boss thought that I had 'done a runner' with the money. 

"Anyway I sorted that out but in the end I had to stay in hospital for two years, although it was not until just before I left that they told me I had been seriously ill with TB.

"As I had been so ill they wouldn't let me out unaccompanied, so my brother came over from England to fetch me back. 

"The hospital gave me a letter and told me to sign up with a new doctor. 

"The doctor took one look at the letter and got up and walked out; a minute later a nurse came in with a mask on and told me an ambulance was coming for me. 

"They took me to a special clinic under observation for four weeks in case I was incubating TB. They obviously didn't trust foreign doctors.

"When I came out I couldn't work as I was still on medication and classified as disabled. Social Services put me in a hotel in Southend. 

"I didn't like having nothing to do so I got a small job delivering leaflets and spent a lot.

"I thought things were looking up when I was given a Springbourne Housing Association flat. 

"I settled in, paying my rent every week, and thought everything was going right until a letter came saying I hadn't paid the rent. 

"I knew I had paid it as I had taken it regularly to the local Post office. 

"When I went to the Post Office I found it had been closed down and the Post Master imprisoned for swindling people like old age pensioners and me out of their money. So I was evicted had no money and nowhere to live.

"I found a night shelter in Chelmsford. It was OK, only 10 people lived there and everyone had their own single rooms, not dormitories like St Pat's. 

"One of the staff knew about Emmaus Brighton and she drove me here, Mathieu interviewed me and I moved in at once.

"I like it here, the work's enjoyable — and I was surprised to find how well it all runs.

"I'm not thinking of moving on and I am now a Community Assistant and have a bit more responsibility helping to run the place."

Emmaus Brighton & Hove is part of Emmaus UK, which supports formerly homeless people by providing a home for as long as they need it, training and meaningful work in our social enterprises. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Mike Cobley


Credit Christa-Holka

An art project and community enterprise that looks at innovative solutions to the often-ignored problem of illness, intimacy, sexual function and pleasure, has been launched. 
Credit Nicole Nodla

When lockdown was declared in March 2020, Paul Weller decided he wanted something to focus on, since it seemed unlikely he'd be able to tour his then latest album On Sunset as planned that summer.
Kerry Banks - Martha Trust

Mary House in Hastings, part of Martha Trust, is the third recipient of the PS&B community charity grant campaign.
Credit: Donald Milne

Endless Arcade is the upcoming eleventh studio album by Scottish band Teenage Fanclub. It is the band's first record since the departure of co-founder Gerard Love in late 2018 and their first with former Gorky's Zygotic Mynci member Euros Childs. 
Credit © Charles Jeffrey

The Horrors make their long-awaited return with new single Lout, the title track of a 3-track EP due next month.

Arab Strap's new single Here Comes Comus! is an ode to the debauched night out that the band's singer Aidan Moffat is missing in current times.
Credit Carlotta Luke

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Credit Sam Stephenson

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The Brighton Event professionals Independent Committee (EPIC) is a group dedicated to supporting people working in the events industry in Brighton and surrounding areas and they believe that rapid tests are not the answer to freeing the local entertainment industry from its current Covid-19 restrictions.
Credit Mawgan Lewis

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Set in Brighton, new film Justine examines the search to find love and a sense of belonging in a chaotic world.

V-Day, the international nonprofit organisation dedicated to eradicating violence against women, girls and the planet - founded by The Vagina Monologues playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler) -  launched a Spotify ad campaign to invite submissions to Voices, a new interdisciplinary performance arts project grounded in Black women's stories. 

The Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings is The Besnard Lakes's sixth album. For its creation, the band dispensed with a timeline and instead took all the time they needed to conceive, compose, record and mix the album. 

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