MHP VoxPop group meeting 17th Oct 2018

Minutes From VoxPop meeting on the 17th October 2018


Attendees – John Priestly, Mark Ward, Barbara Oliver, Selina Hanley, Lee Fletcher, Stephen Beech, Linda Parsonage.


10:00am – Individual Check ins (optional) – ask what is the top thing in their mind around homelessness)

Selina – homeless for a year, has been a pastry chef, now lives in Supported Accomodation.

Selina’s primary thought around homelessness was how on those without a home felt about themselves, a lack of self love, ‘why do people feel they deserve no better?’

Mark – was homeless for 4 years, and now volunteers at the Booth Centre.

Mark’s initial thought on homelessness was around the red tape, barriers that exist when trying to find somewhere to live, he focused mainly on how some are prioritised over others.

John – said he was rescued from sleeping on a park bench and is passionate about being a ‘statistic for change’. He volunteers at Back on Track and The Football Museum at Urbis.

John’s foremost thought on homelessness was about the misconceptions that still, sadly exist around people without a home. People who are homeless are often dehumanised with labels like ‘addict’. He is keen to challenge these generalisations and has been involved in a piece of work that has been co produced with the Museum of Homelessness  and people with experience of Homelessness called ‘Objectified’. This was an exhibition that ran at the Manchester Art Gallery for 4 days.

See link below;


Barbara – volunteered on the ICM Core Group and was involved in a lot of meetings on service design, policy change, coproduction and campaigning, she found it a bit boring at first but grew to enjoy it and found it interesting. She is now pursuing her passion by Peer Mentoring on the S.I.B. project with Shelter.

Barbara’s first thought on Homelessness was that there needs to be more people who have experienced homelessness working in the sector. She feels a lot of the issues that people with complex needs experience i.e. having to repeat your story over and over, the misconceptions that exist, would be negated if there was more co-production and people with a personal insight into homelessness working in the field.

Lee – is a volunteer and Peer Mentor at the Booth Centre.

Lee’s primary thought on homelessness was their is no Social/affordable housing.

Stephen – volunteers at the Booth Centre and is very proactive on the Manchester Homelessness Partnership.

When asked about the first thing he thought of about homelessness it was around the isolation and loneliness those without a home can be vulnerable to.

Linda – volunteers at PETRUS in Rochdale, and was involved in the ‘Elephants in the Room’ project funded by Lankelly Chase. She is now an active volunteer on the Manchester Homelessness Partnership.

Linda’s primary thought on homelessness was around move on and where people are housed and supported. She is passionate that this should be done in a person centred way so we are mindful of a an individuals specific needs, aims and assets.


11:00 – Co Production Training.

Everyone present was keen to take part and asked me to put their name down for the training.

Mark W, John P, Barbara 0, Selina, Lee F, Stephen B, Linda P.


11:00 – Trafficking Questionnaire.

Hannah from Stop The Traffick has put together a questionnaire for people who are homeless or who have experienced homelessness to gather evidence on the trafficking of vulnerable people. She has worked with Viv (Street Support) and Jez (Mustard Tree) to hopefully get theses questions out to people at Booth Centre, Mustard Tree, Barnabus and Coffee4Craig.

The VoxPop Group looked at the questions

  • Whilst (homeless or rough sleeping?), have you ever been offered food, accommodation, drugs or alcohol in return for work?
  • Have you ever seen or heard of someone else who is (homeless or rough sleeping?) being offered food, accommodation, drugs or alcohol in return for work?
  • If yes, did you have any concerns over the safety of accepting, or how genuine the offer was?
  • Have you, or anyone you know, not been paid wages that were promised after doing work?
  • Have you ever warned someone, or been warned yourself, not to take a job offer from a particular person or group?
  • Have you ever known of someone going missing after taking a job offer?
  • Who would you tell if you knew a particular person or group were targeting people who were homeless with suspicious job offers?

It was said that we should be very careful how we approach asking these questions and that if should be done by people who have experience of homelessness or trafficking, or by workers who already have good trusting relationships with their clients.

It was also sugggested that MASH would be a good organisation to work with on this.

There should be qualified mediation around any forum, conversations or consultations around trafficking.

There should be awareness training for people who are vulnerable to traffickers and anyone who would benefit from the insight and learning training could provide.

It was an emotive and lively discussion and the group decided that they would some separate time to discuss and potentially answer the above questionnaire.

‘Give it the time it deserves’


11:30 – Follow up on Drug and Alcohol/Veteran input into the MHP.

Mark J informed the group that he had followed up on their feedback about a lack if input and insight from the addiction/recovery services on the MHP.

Both Mark and Dee have emailed Tim Lavender at CGL and are still awaiting a reply.
With regard to influencing veteran insight Mark attended a social prescribing meeting where he met Gary Lamb from WWTW (Walking With the Wounded)

Mark and Gary have set up a meeting for the 8th November to see how we can work together going forward.

Gary has said he is happy to attend the next Manchester Homelessness Partnership Board Meeting.


11:40 – GMP/Rough Sleeper Team.

We would like to set up a facilitated conversation with people who have experienced rough sleeping, rough sleeper team including GMP, us, & possibly a business contact who understands challenges of all people involved. The intention would be connection & mutual understanding, trusting something positive to come from that rather than going in with an aim to change each other’s views or actions. All of group were interested and passionate. in getting involved in some way with this facilitated conversation

There was thought that PCSO’s should be invited and also Ian Hopkins (GMP Chief Constable).


11:50 – Plan for Chrimbo

Some good ideas for a VoxPop Christmas event

  • To attend the Booth Centre panto in Chorlton on the 6,7 or 8th in Chorlton
  • To have a party and invite a celeb
  • Visit/volunteer at another day centre
  • Go for a Carvery
  • Tour at McVities factory
  • Tour of Cadbury’s.