Young people’s performance supports rough sleepers
STUDENTS have taken over the city centre in a dramatic show of support for Liverpool’s ‘forgotten people’.
Young dancers and actors from The City of Liverpool College converged on Church Street for a stunning ‘flash mob’ performance to raise awareness about the issues facing rough sleepers.
The students also used the opportunity to raise funds for city-based homeless support charity, The Whitechapel Centre and to show their support for Liverpool’s City Council’sAlways Room Inside campaign.
The 10 minute tour de force began with the students mingling with shoppers and city centre workers. Then they broke ranks and flew into their very own passion play with cries of ‘I’m sorry’. Taking on the mantle of homeless people with different issues, the students broached topics such as mental health, financial hardship, family breakdown and lack of opportunities.
City of Liverpool College Drama Lecturer Julie McKay, who worked with the young people on the performance said the idea was present the ‘human face’ of homelessness.
“The students wore costumes representing all walks of life to highlight the fact that homelessness can happen to anyone,” said Julie. “They also used cards with messages on to dispel some of the myths surrounding the subject and to share success stories.”
The performers also used the opportunity to signpost the onlookers to where they can find out more and how they can get involved.
Each year, the city council and its partners work proactively to prevent 7,000 people becoming homeless in Liverpool.
Under the Always Room Inside banner, the council has given the commitment that no-one needs to sleep rough on the city’s streets. In November the council opened the Labre House night shelter to provide a safe place to stay for anyone who needs it.
The council also helps to fund The Whitechapel Centre to provide day services to homeless people.
Whitechapel Centre Chief Executive David Carter said: “This was a fantastic performance that really brought home some of the key messages about homelessness and rough sleeping in our city. It’s great to see so many young people taking an active and getting involved in a subject that affects us all. It’s only through everyone working together that we can help to resolve some of the issues facing homeless people in our city.”