This Red Nose Day, Prince William helped to shine a light on the stark reality of homelessness in the UK, an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of people across the country. To do this, His Royal Highness met with Groundswell Listen Up! reporters Miles and Nawshin to share personal experiences, discuss harmful misconceptions, and explore what more needs to be done.
“Having an important figure feel passionate about our troubles is amazing. I hope it means we can change the narrative for the better, and Prince William can use his influence to get real policy changes.” – Nawshin, volunteer reporter.
Comic Relief fund Listen Up! a Groundswell project that gives people experiencing homelessness a platform to hold decision makers to account and contribute to change in policy, systems, and commissioning to tackle inequality. They do this through written reports, podcasts and film.
[Picture: Volunteer reporters Miles & Nawshin talk to Prince William. Photo credit Comic Relief / Daniel Loveday]
Jenny Yates, Groundswell Chair of Trustees reinforces the value in this receiving national, royal coverage:
“Listen Up! is a platform for our volunteer reporters to share their own experiences of being homeless, and expose the barriers they face trying to move out of homelessness. Thank you to Comic Relief and Prince William for putting a spotlight on this work, listening to people who have been homeless is the starting point for creating real change”.
Groundswell champion people’s right to be involved in decisions that affect their lives. Projects like Listen Up! equip people with the confidence, knowledge and platforms to speak up, so we can create change. However, many of Groundswell’s people join us as volunteers on their journey out of homelessness, where they have been treated as ‘other’, their voice not heard:
“Homelessness is about not having a safe space – it’s a very isolating life. You exist, you don’t live. Groundswell helps to give a voice to people who have experienced homelessness. People who experience homelessness have solutions if you just ask them – they know what needs changing” – Miles, volunteer reporter.
Both Miles and Nawshin told Prince William about poor health leading them to homelessness. Illness should not push you from a safety, but at Groundswell we see too many instances where it does. We all have a right to good health and safe, secure housing and the Listen Up! project aims to kickstart major change towards better healthcare access and life expectancy for people facing homelessness.
Thanks to Prince William and Comic Relief, people’s experience of homelessness is being listened to. We all have the right to be heard.
Watch this space for a release of the full podcast recording with Prince William, Miles and Nawshin: sign up to our newsletter or connect with us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to be the first to hear.
Thanks to our partner On Our Radar, digital storytellers who ensure our reporters have the technology and digital skills to create powerful stories through film and podcast making.