Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 22 February 2021

Emmaus Brighton & Hove Put Spotlight On Rough Sleepers Count As Lockdown Restrictions Are Set To Ease

As Brighton's lockdown restrictions are set to ease and many financial support packages are due to come to an end, attention will focus on the government's soon to be updated annual rough sleeper count.

As a snapshot of someone who found himself homeless before joining charity, Emmaus Brighton & Hove, we meet Pat who was in hospital for two years suffering with TB and was later evicted from his housing association flat, leaving him with no money and nowhere to live.

"I went for a weekend to visit an old friend who ran a pub in Belgium. He needed a break and offered me a job working at the bar. "

"The work was hard; from 9 am until 4 am the next morning, but I enjoyed the life there, just off the Grand Platz in the centre of Brussels, the Opera round the corner. 

"Then one lunchtime I unexpectedly collapsed in the street on my way to deposit the bar takings in the bank. 

"Four days later I woke up in hospital and could remember nothing about how I got there. 

"My first thought was for the money I had been carrying- where was it? 

"I was amazed to find it in my bedside cabinet and even more amazed to discover that I was seriously ill and that my boss thought that I had 'done a runner' with the money. 

"Anyway I sorted that out but in the end I had to stay in hospital for two years, although it was not until just before I left that they told me I had been seriously ill with TB.

"As I had been so ill they wouldn't let me out unaccompanied, so my brother came over from England to fetch me back. 

"The hospital gave me a letter and told me to sign up with a new doctor. 

"The doctor took one look at the letter and got up and walked out; a minute later a nurse came in with a mask on and told me an ambulance was coming for me. 

"They took me to a special clinic under observation for four weeks in case I was incubating TB. They obviously didn't trust foreign doctors.

"When I came out I couldn't work as I was still on medication and classified as disabled. Social Services put me in a hotel in Southend. 

"I didn't like having nothing to do so I got a small job delivering leaflets and spent a lot.

"I thought things were looking up when I was given a Springbourne Housing Association flat. 

"I settled in, paying my rent every week, and thought everything was going right until a letter came saying I hadn't paid the rent. 

"I knew I had paid it as I had taken it regularly to the local Post office. 

"When I went to the Post Office I found it had been closed down and the Post Master imprisoned for swindling people like old age pensioners and me out of their money. So I was evicted had no money and nowhere to live.

"I found a night shelter in Chelmsford. It was OK, only 10 people lived there and everyone had their own single rooms, not dormitories like St Pat's. 

"One of the staff knew about Emmaus Brighton and she drove me here, Mathieu interviewed me and I moved in at once.

"I like it here, the work's enjoyable — and I was surprised to find how well it all runs.

"I'm not thinking of moving on and I am now a Community Assistant and have a bit more responsibility helping to run the place."

Emmaus Brighton & Hove is part of Emmaus UK, which supports formerly homeless people by providing a home for as long as they need it, training and meaningful work in our social enterprises. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Mike Cobley


Shooshh is arguably Brighton's most popular beach nightclub. The pandemic left the club and its team with the constant challenge of reinventing itself to adapt to new rules wherever it was possible in order to survive.

Africa in the Lounge returns for another series of concerts drawing on musical traditions from across Africa. The next shows will be streamed live on Youtube and Facebook from Ooosh! studios in Brighton, on 23 and 30 April.
Credit Erin Hambly

Drug Store Romeos formed at college in Farnborough when childhood friends Jonny and Charlie pinned an ad about finding a bassist for their new band to the school's notice board - Sarah replied and quickly proved herself a better vocalist than either of them.

Multi-award winning theatre ensemble Rhum and Clay are bringing their latest critically acclaimed production, The War Of The Worlds, to Worthing this May.

The Blind Cupid Shakespeare Company has teamed up with Brighton based project Quarantine Kids Storytime to produce short form audio dramas of Shakespeare's plays. The collaboration aims to deliver classical content made accessible to young audiences and those new to the Bard.

Philippe Cohen Solal (Gotan Project) and Mike Lindsay (Tunng) continue their audio, visual and digital exploration of America's most celebrated Outsider artist Henry Darger, with the next instalment of the project.

The registered arts charity Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival has received two grants to help the organisation recover and reopen over the next few months. 
Credit Jamie MacMillian

Author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE took time out to explain what it's like to return for a second time as Guest Director, and what's in store for this year's very different, but as ever eclectic, Brighton Festival 2021.

Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie has teamed up with solo artist and Savages vocalist Jehnny Beth to release the album Utopian Ashes. 

Kavanagh are the epitome of unsigned, DIY rock'n'roll. With a fearsome live reputation, they have won two national Battle of the Bands competitions and have toured the UK. Based in Brighton, they featured on the I Am Not Your Slave compilation album of unsigned talent from the South East. 
Credit Taylor Jewell

In the final weekend of lockdown, Charleston invites audiences to tune in online for a bite-sized version of the annual Charleston Festival.
Credit Holly Whitaker

Drawing influence from a wide range of eras and genres, Brighton-based troupe Genn have released new EP Liminal. From the opening bass ostinato of its first track Feel to the hooky refrain of closer Falling Out, through rock'n'roll, psychedelia and funked-up, post-punk vibes, Liminal is a veritable rollercoaster journey.

Brighton, today, became the first UK city to launch a multi-arts festival since lockdown. 

Quintet Junodream - who play The Prince Albert, Brighton, later this year - possess a rare flair for infusing their immediately compelling alt-rock with an abundance of creative sonic embellishments

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