Category Archives: Rooney

PHASES, renovating empty homes into affordable rentals

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Glen Heaton, project manager at PHASES

By Rooney John

PHASES (People Housing and Social Enterprise Scheme) is a South London based social enterprise charity. Their main goal is to renovate disused properties in South London, using trainees that are marginalised, long term unemployed, ex-offenders or those who have experienced homelessness.

Set up in 2001 the charity was originally called Advocates for Homeless, providing advice and support to homeless people in South London. Speaking about the change of focus for the charity Glen Heaton, project manager at PHASES said: “We focused on advice for about five years then we realised a lot of homeless people had careers in construction and then had drug or alcohol problems and then there were empty properties that could be used as construction projects so putting the two together seemed bit of a no brainer.” Continue reading

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The Otesha Project, inspiring environmental change

Anna Devi Nagtalon, Director, The Otesha Project UK

Anna Devi Nagtalon, Director, The Otesha Project UK

By Rooney John

“Otesha” is a Swahili word meaning “to plant a seed and watch it grow.” or “to nurture a dream”. It is also a global community of people who see their lives as powerful tools for environmental and social change.

Founded by two Canadians, Jocelyn Land-Murphy and Jessica Lax in 2002, Otesha’s goal is to bring young people together and create a movement which gives them the power, skills and creativity to make a fairer, cleaner and greener world. Continue reading

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Fugitive Images, highlighting the need for housing reform

Fugitive Images, i am here, installation at Haggerston Estate, 2009-14

Fugitive Images, i am here, installation at Haggerston Estate, 2009-14

By Rooney John

Real Estates, a new project by Fugitive Images has been launched to raise awareness of the housing crisis in London and to develop greater understanding of this important cause within local communities in east London.

During a series of events Real Estates will hope to engage residents, campaigners, homeless charities and housing sector workers; in the hope of finding strategies to fight social injustice and restore a more fair approach to the housing shortage. Continue reading

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Prostate Cancer UK, uniting men in friendship against disease

Prostate Cancer UK's CEO Owen Sharp, at the launch of the 'Men at Arms' campaign.

Prostate Cancer UK’s CEO Owen Sharp, at the launch of the ‘Men United’ campaign.

By Rooney John

Prostate Cancer UK’s new campaign has transformed a real pub intoThe Men United Arms’, to highlight the need for men to support each other in the battle against a disease that affects 1 in 8 men.

The campaign was launched on Wednesday 28 January, at the ‘pop-up-pub’ near London’s Borough Market. Over the next couple of weeks mates are invited to get together, celebrate and explore their friendship through a series of fun activities, that show the importance of male friendship in battling the disease and ultimately keeping friends alive. Continue reading

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Profits from music single to support the Big Issue online journalists!

By Rooney John

Poached Creative received an unexpected but very welcome gift, from renowned blues artist Mete Ege, who decided to contribute all proceeds of his single Ghosts of London to the social enterprise.

Mete was inspired to generously support the social enterprise after meeting John Watts, a recent graduate of the Big Issue Online Journalism Programme; which helps homeless and unemployed people get a head-start in the creative industries. Continue reading

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U-turn on prison smoking ban welcome news for inmates

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Main entrance Wormwood Scrubs Prison, East Acton, London W3.

By Rooney John

Welcome news for inmates after a U-turn on proposed plans to ban smoking in UK prisons.  Plans have been put on hold by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), after unsuccessfully piloting the programme in 2014.

There has already been a smoking ban in public, communal areas in all UK prisons, since 2007; when a nation-wide smoking ban designed to protect people from the effects of second-hand smoke was implemented  It also comes amid fears that the Prison Service could face compensation claims from these officers, complaining of the effects of passive smoking. However smoking was still allowed in cells, as these were classed as domestic areas, and outside in exercise yards. Continue reading

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MakeBelieve Arts, using storytelling to re-engage children with learning

Pic: Sana.

Pic: Sana.

By Rooney John

“Stories have got magic in them. It’s in the walls, it’s in their hands, it’s everywhere.”

MakeBelieve Arts offers innovative, high quality programmes to develop the creative, emotional and cognitive potential of children and young people across the UK. Based in Deptford, South London the educational theatre company and social enterprise believe in the power of story to re-engage children with learning.

MakeBelieve Arts use storytelling and theatre to teach subjects across the curriculum, including English, Drama, Mathematics and Science. Their aim is to change the way children engage with learning through creative education, giving them the skills to cope within an increasingly complex world. Continue reading

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