Learn: Gathering Statistics for my infographic

So for the added online value part of my project I’ve decided to do several things… This blog for starters, then an online survey, a photo gallery and also an infographic. The infographic is arguably the most important part of the online elements as it will provide a lot of hard hitting facts which may shock readers.

The aim of the infographic is to allow readers to contextualise the scheme I’m focusing my project on. It will give them a wider view of the issue and how it affects the population.

I’ve decided to use facts from Thames Reach’s website seeing as I’m using the charity as part of my project.

They also have the most up to date statistics I could find: November 2016.

From their research here’s a few of the statistics I’ve found that might give you an idea of what the infographic will be looking at…

  • Over 20,000 people annually are found to be homeless but not in priority need
  • 47% of London’s rough sleepers had mental health support needs in the latest quarterly figures
  • 8,096 individuals were reported sleeping rough across the course of the year in London, a rise of 7% over last year.
  • The hidden homeless (people that we don’t know about) is estimated at 400,000!

And that’s just a taste, there’s plenty more facts that will shock you but you’ll have to wait until the project is published…

 

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Interview Number 6

On to my sixth interview – with Cathy Corcoran. Now Cathy is the Chief Executive of the Cardinal Hume Centre.

The centre is a homeless charity that focuses very much on the individuals that come to them . In particular, they focus on four areas of need…

  1. Income
  2. Housing
  3. Education
  4. Legal Status

Taking these four things a step at a time they help to rehabilitate individuals and integrate them back into society.

Whilst I won’t tell you Cathy’s views on the issue of homelessness (you’ll have to wait for the final piece) I will tell you something that I wasn’t able to include.

In one of the ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) training rooms, a team had come in specifically to dress the place with christmas decorations. So I decided to ask Cathy what the centre gets like over Christmas.

She explained that the atmosphere around the centre in December is, frankly, manic.

What looks to be a very well organised and structured centre at the moment becomes completely filled with presents, decorations, and music.

She described that one woman left the centre with a whole cart of presents last year. Her two children were watching her absolutely gob smacked and in awe. She’d never been able to give them anything for Christmas beforehand, and now she could.

……..

I’ve decided to use sections of Cathy’s interview along with Jeremy Swain’s (Interview Number 3) to create a fast paced audio sequence describing what should be done to tackle the issue of homelessness. 

This will allow readers of the main feature to contextualise the project and give them a wider understanding of what other schemes are going on.

I will also be asking both charities their opinion on the House of St Barnabas (the focus of my piece) to get a balanced and fair view.

Understanding My Target Publication

So for my target publication I’ve chosen the Observer magazine. I’ve done this for several reasons…

  • Firstly, it’s a serious factual magazine, that publishes inspirational and moving features. And that’s exactly the tone I need for my feature.
  • Secondly, it’s a centre-left politically aligned newspaper and magazine. Therefore issues of poverty and homelessness are perhaps more likely to appeal to its readers who typically have higher interest in social welfare.
  • And finally, the style and layout of The Observer Magazine is clean and simple. In addition to this, the pictures are large and striking in each piece which is exactly the style I envisaged for the article.

So in order to emulate this style and tone I need to fully understand my target market… 

The Observer magazine comes as a supplement in the Observer newspaper. The newspaper is a broadsheet which is published in place of it’s sister magazine The Guardian on Sundays.

Here are three key facts I’ve learnt:

  1. The Observer primarily has an ABC1 readership – this means upper middle class, middle class and lower middle class.
  2. It has a daily readership of 602,000 people, and out of these the majority are middle aged.
  3. It was first published in 1971 and is the worlds oldest Sunday newspaper.

Interview Number 5

Over the halfway mark! And onto my fifth interview… with Gerard Lemos. 

Gerard is an expert in homelessness. He has written several books on the issue of homelessness and runs his own company ‘Lemos and Crane‘ with a partner. Within his company he conducts research into homelessness and works with other homeless charities on various projects.

One such project is called ‘Resilient Resettlement‘. The scheme recognises the importance of family and friends as part of re-integrating into society. It aims to help ex-homeless people establish connections with people through clubs, societies and public activities.

They’re working with Tudor Trust in order to do this, and giving small grants to different homelessness agencies.

He explained: “It allows them to develop some new hobbies and activities and not to see that as something you do after you were resettled, but to think of it as something that was part of your resettlement”

In addition to this Gerard gave me his views on homelessness in general, what should be done, and his thoughts on the House of St Barnabas. You can read all about it in the finished article…

Getting Creative

One of the most important things in my project is consistency. When it goes online I need all the various elements to have a similar feel to it. For this it’s essential I choose an appropriate colour scheme, font, house style etc…

I will need to design various buttons to link the pages together. For example: Read, Watch, Listen and Learn.

For the colour scheme I’ve gone with black and white pictures, contrasted with highlights of a rich teal green. Throughout my piece I have lots of juxtapositions between rich and poor which I feel that these colours help to emulate.

Take a look at some of the buttons and banners I’ve been creating below:

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Interview Number 4

Onto my fourth interview, so who was it with? Mark Woodruff – he’s the trust executive of the Monument Trust. This is one of the charities that helps to fund the House of St Barnabas’ work.

As the House of St Barnabas is a not for profit members club, without the help and support of external donations it would be impossible to run.

Not only was the interview with Mark very insightful, but it also answered one of the biggest questions I had about the scheme…

Before the House of St Barnabas was a members club, it was a hostel. So what I wanted to know was what happened to the regular visitors to the hostel when it transitioned into a club? Where did they go?

Well, according to Mark, the hostel primarily helped sex workers, giving women a place of refuge. There was a problem though…

The house was old and falling into disrepair, it wasn’t watertight and no longer safe for the women inside, and so the government said they had to close down. 

Once they’d done this they had the option: they could either spend millions redoing it all in order to operate as a hostel again, but they would have to downsize to 15 beds. Or, they could start up as something new.

Considering there was a whopping 20,000 square feet in the house, the decision was made that 15 beds wasn’t making the best use of the space. And so for a few years after that the house was used for various pop up events, restaurants, and companies, until it eventually became the member’s club it is today that works in partnership with the employment academy – training and educating homeless people.

…….

Mark was great in explaining the relationship Monument Trust have with the House of St Barnabas and how they help the scheme to survive.

My favourite quote?

“It’s a vicious cycle: if you haven’t got an address nobody will employ you, and nobody will give you anywhere to live unless you’ve got some work”