Planning & Preparation

To ensure my piece is as in depth as possible I need to be fully clued up on everything to do with homelessness at the minute.

From my research I’ve uncovered some pretty interesting facts…

For example did you know that up until 2010 homelessness looked to be on the verge of extinction? In fact people argued we were almost close to wiping out the issue.

However from 2010 onwards the amount of people sleeping rough started rapidly increasing each year. But why? 

Well that’s something I’m hoping to discover throughout my interviews.

I’ve also started outlining some of the key components within my project in a mind map.

For the feature I’m planning to focus on one main case study which I will intersperse with other interviews from experts and major players in the House of St Barnabas charity.

In a sense the piece will document the case study’s journey from the streets into paid work, with other useful bits of information threaded though it along the way.


Look: Sneak Peek inside the House of St Barnabas

Today I visited the house for the first time. I wanted to have a look around before I started carrying out any interviews to get a sense of the place…

To sum it up in one word? Grand. very beautiful, and very grand.

After knocking on the big black door, a receptionist welcomes you in. A huge gold coloured sculpture is central to the staircase on the right.

Following the corridor round to the left, there’s a reception area, a restaurant and a library bar where people are either socialising, relaxing with a drink or working on their laptops.

When ordering a drink the bartender is obviously a little nervous and slow. It’s only been a few weeks since the programme has started and so it’s understandable. Anyone who’s started a new job is going to be nervous – let alone someone who’s been out of work for months, possibly years, and has probably never worked somewhere like this before.

It will be interesting to see how the workers manner and confidence changes over the coming weeks…

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the photos I took for the project of the house.


Why is my project unique?

The issue of homelessness is extremely important, but also extremely well covered, which begs the question: why is this going to be unique?

What’s unique about this project is the scheme I’m focusing on.

The house of St Barnabas is extremely elaborate and beautiful. It’s luxurious to say the least. And inside are people working who have come from nothing, who have lived in poverty and often despair.

This stark juxtaposition between rich and poor is what’s interesting.

These people are thrust into an exclusive world filled with people discussing art and sipping champagne. And that’s not going to be an easy transition to make.

Documenting the journey these people go on across the 12 weeks will make an extremely interesting piece: seeing how they change, gain in confidence, the way they act and the skills they gain.

They’re not learning how to cook in a soup kitchen, or give out magazines, or the other very basic jobs often associated with homeless people. They’re learning how to deliver a five star service, in a grade one listed building.

That’s not to say I won’t be focusing on the wider issue though.

Investigating why the rates of homeless people have increased is a fundamental element of this project. And talking to experts who can give their view on the issue will be vital.

Getting Started

Hello and welcome to my blog for my major project!

For this I have chosen to focus on the issue on homelessness and a unique scheme that aims to break the vicious cycle of it.

I will need to gather interviews, research the subject, write a 1500-word feature, create a two minute audio piece, a two minute video and various other online elements.

Marks will be awarded for demonstrating:

  • Ambition and originality
  • A newsworthy story, generated by you from an original source.
  • An item of interest to your target audience
  • Good research and structuring
  • Good range of appropriate interviews
  • Quality of writing
  • An awareness of the needs of the target publication
  • Professional presentation, including spelling and grammar
  • Creative and relevant use of images and page design

…and this is the breakdown of how I will be marked:

  1. An outline and justification of your concept and the completed work (1000 words (10% of the overall mark)
  2. A well researched, targeted piece of journalism in your chosen specialist media – in my case a 1500-word feature (35% of the overall mark) 
  3. An online story, related to your main story uploaded to BUzz – this will need to include relevant SEO links (10% of the overall mark)
  4. Online video, related to your main story uploaded to BUzz – for this I’m focusing on a specific case study (10% of the overall mark)
  5. Online audio, related to your main story uploaded to BUzz – for this I’m recording a debate (10% of the overall mark)
  6. Online added value, related to your main story: e.g. timeline, infographic or photo gallery (10% of the overall mark)

The final 15% will be for a pitch which I will be carrying out next week.