By Yousif Farrah
Poached Creative is a social enterprise communications agency, that puts creative jobs in reach for disadvantaged people. As their Volunteer Press Officer I can speak firsthand of how they make a positive impact on people’s lives.
Two years ago I was made homeless and had to drop out of University. It was at this time that I also experienced the loss of close relatives and life started to spin out of control. I ended up in prison and life seemed so bleak. I could not see any light at the end of the tunnel.
I genuinely believed that it was the end. Fortunately, upon my release from prison I began to receive support from homeless charity St Mungo’s Broadway and they told me about The Big Issue online journalism programme, which trains homeless and marginalised people in journalism and photography.
The course is run by Poached Creative and trainees have the chance to get their work published in The Big Issue, Positive News and The Pavement Magazine. By taking part in the training, learning new skills and meeting other people who had been through similar experiences the course helped me begin to regain my confidence and self worth.
After the course finished I was invited to volunteer for Poached Creative and over the past year have progressed to become their volunteer press officer at Poached Creative. During this time I learned valuable communication skills including copywriting, blogging and social media.
Currently at Poached Creative I am writing blogs on issues important to the social enterprise and working on a project with Mental Snapp who work with people with mental health issues.
I feel I have come a long way in the space of a year, despite few setbacks. I had work published in the Hackney Citizen and E9 magazine, joined the writing panel at The Pavement Magazine and become an editorial committee member at Homeless Diamonds, an arts magazine for homeless writers, poets and artists.
Reflecting on the past year I feel that the depression is fading away steadily and that there is a new purpose and meaning to my life. I feel less wary and more optimistic about the future. Poached Creative has helped me turn my life around and instilled a passion for writing, progressiveness and a willingness to help the other people in my life.
This blog was written by Yousif Farrah for the SE100 blog, while volunteering for Poached Creative.