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


The First Release of Brighton Fringe events will feature comedy from Paralympic, World Championship and European Championship dressage medallist Ricky Balshaw; Love and Money, a play by internationally-acclaimed writer Dennis Kelly and the return of award-winning comedy actress Joanna Neary with a show based on her comedy podcast Wife On Earth.

On the 21st December hundreds of people will walk 5k to support the NSPCC. Landmarks across the UK, including the BA i360 in Brighton and Lancing College Chapel are also supporting the charity by lighting up and turning the NSPCC's trademark green colour.

Creative Learning at Theatre Royal Brighton runs a programme of workshops, performances, talks, tours and events alongside the shows on its stage. 

Mr Bruce - former frontman of The Correspondents - marks the start of his solo career in spectacular style with the release of Race To Nowhere [Part One], and a date at Brighton's Green Door Store.

Following last year’s virtual sing-along, Brighton Festival Chorus (BFC) returns to the stage for its annual Christmas Concert at Brighton Dome on Sunday 12 December at 4pm. 
Credit Vicki McManus

Budding young circus performers are preparing to take to the stage at Brighton Dome this December, with help from professional artists from Circolombia.

When the lights go up at the start of the performances of Riverdance: The New 25th Anniversary Show at The Brighton Centre next month, the excitement will be palpable, not just from the audience but very much from all the performers too.

The Beatles famously turned their back on touring towards the end of their career but The Bootleg Beatles, due to Covid, as with the rest of the industry were forced into an unwanted hiatus. 
Credit David-Geli

Komedia has teamed up with leading independent comedy promoters Little Wander for a fresh take on their weekend stand-up comedy offering.

After years spent living on opposite sides of the Atlantic world events threw Laura Mary Carter and Steven Ansell of Brighton's Blood Red Shoes back together into what has become the must fruitful era of their 17 years together. 
Florin and Charlie

Over one-hundred Brighton residents have been offered full or part time roles on-site at the £120 million Edward Street Quarter development as part of an ongoing social value commitment to support the local community.

The South-East's largest charity supporting vulnerable young people, YMCA DownsLink Group, has launched its Christmas fundraising appeal
Credit Vic Frankowski

Brighton city centre will once again be filled with a sea of colour and creativity as thousands of school children, teachers and volunteers celebrate the return of the Brighton Festival Children's Parade after a two-year gap on Saturday 7th May 2022.
Credit Rosie Powell

This year, Towner Eastbourne invited members of the LGBTQIA+ community in East Sussex to take part in a unique creative project, exploring personal responses to artworks in the Towner Collection, through a queer lens. 

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