Book cover - front, 2014, ed 4000. Full colour, 24x30cm, 125 pages. Published by ATD Fourth World.
Book cover - back, 2014, ed 4000. Full colour, 24x30cm, 125 pages. Published by ATD Fourth World.
This is me stood outside in the courtyard at ATD Fourth World at Addington Square, in London, taking a five minute break before I go back into the office, to carry on with my work doing one of the very large mailings.
On Mondays, when I am not at ATD Fourth World, I am helping my partner to look after an old lady that lives next door to us. She is very housebound and she is unable to even leave her home to just go outside of her front door to put her rubbish bag in her bin.
I like to write poems, because I can express all my thoughts easier than speaking them.
I wrote a poem for my friend Alice, she is a cheerful, bubbly woman who loves life to the full. I used to help look after her four children, sometimes
take them for the weekends and help her with the shopping. The most enjoyable thing is doing the children’s parties and seeing the joy on the children’s faces, it seems like for that moment they put all the troubles behind them. I have been helping Alice and her children for 15 years. I will
continue helping them for as long as I can.
Everybody has a story to tell, whether it’s big or small. This is my story. I think every story should have a beginning, middle and an ending. Then my story will be told, and then it will unfold.
James, Jack of All Trades and Paul, Thinker
J: For the last ten years, I’ve been involved in maintenance projects in and around the ATD Fourth World National Centre in London. I have learned so much and taken part in some fantastic projects such as the kitchen renovation, extension and rebuild and the attic conversion into bedrooms and a living room-cum-dining area.
P: I like to think primarily about ways to improve conditions and quality of life for as many people as humanly possible. I have a blog dedicated to such ideas and try my best to refine my ideas through debate.
This is me stood outside in the courtyard at ATD London, on a break before I go back in to carry on with the rest of the painting job that I have
volunteered to do with ATD.
On Mondays I help my partner care for an old lady who lives next door to me and is housebound. On other days I volunteer at ATD Fourth World
doing all the manual work and handyman jobs. I also help my partner with all the mailing she does. We make a great team together, as we are very
fast at mailing.
I also support my partner in all the different volunteering she does like me for ATD and the meetings she is asked to attend and get involved with, especially the social work training and the public speaking she is asked to do.
Conor:I help the children with drawing because it’s something I’m good at and something they want to do. So I’m teaching them but, at the same time, I’m learning and they’re learning; it’s about finding something they can have a passion for.
To me, community means everyone, of different walks of life, coming together. The programme that iiChild is running here should happen in more places. It can build confidence for the kids and, if they don’t go out much, could be a way to make new friends.
I try to be a role model for the younger kids. I try to set rules and discipline and teach the kids about what it means to be respected or to be a respectful person to others. That’s really what I do.
When me and my husband was walking in the cemetery one day he noticed an area where none of the graves were marked. The local vicar told us they were graves where the poor people whose families could not afford to pay
for a funeral were buried.
They had their names taken from them, as though they had never existed. Their families had nowhere to go to mourn or meet to remember
We worked with the vicar to get permission to put a headstone on these graves and asked a local stonemason to donate and carve the stone
– which he did.
On the day it was unveiled, over 100 people turned up to see the resting place of those they loved being recognised for the first time. It was a way to give them back their dignity as human beings, even in death.
Seamus, Defender of human rights
I work to defend Human Rights, fight against poverty and help other families through difficult times. I support families through court
proceedings and fighting for their rights.
I supported one family when they were fighting for their kid in the courts. I did it because I’m a friend. But I also did it because when I was in that position it was good to have someone else alongside me.
IiCHILD, Community Development Project
I began running school holiday activities for children on estates in 2011 and then started regular after-school activities last year. I was driven by the observation that the young people needed somewhere to go, somewhere to hang out, to put forth their views, be listened to and be valued.
I’ve had lots of jobs and titles, both paid and voluntary. My health means I can’t work full-time any more so, instead, I do as much as I can, when I can, for whoever I can. I love to keep busy, love to help and love to feel I’ve achieved a little something each day, even on my worst days.
I like to look at the whole picture before coming to a decision.
I’m a carer for my son who has special needs. He goes to school so you may wonder why I don’t go out to work when he’s at school but even at school he is still in need of my help at times. I have to go into school to calm him down or even teach him as he won’t go into lessons.
Hazel, Voluntary worker
I work in the Salvation Army shop, doing voluntary work.
Volunteering at the charity shop during the week gives me lots of enjoyment. I’ve gotten to know my work colleagues and some of the customers so it feels like home.
Sue, Community Enabler
I’m a single mother of four, on a low income, living on a housing estate in south London.
I’m on the local tenants and residents’ association and I’ve held the positions of secretary and vice-secretary. I’ve been coming to meetings for ten years and on the committee for five. It’s all about learning what gets done and how, like going to forums, getting involved in the paperwork and meeting the community police.
Eric, Freedom fighter
I believe in putting others before myself. I like to help other people. I’m quite happy to help but I hate asking for help.
Mo, Anti_Poverty Campaigner
I’m a disabled mother of three adult children and I receive benefits. I can’t get employment due to the amount of time I need to attend medical appointments and treatments but I have always been involved in community activities and done voluntary work.
I’m a pensioner who has a young wife who is now in a wheel chair.So being a lifetime carer I need to enable her to be happy and independent especially when I’m not there, or when I am busy with the charity that helped us when we suffered exclusion.
They helped us when we lost our child to unwilling adoption. Now in return we can help others to achieve dignity again. The charity flew me to
Lisbon to have a personal chat with the Dalai Lama,on behalf of other excluded families. I was impressed at how he also overcame exclusion in a
really big way! It made me realise - if he can and I can, you can too!
The local supermarket wanted to make our home into a car park.They wanted to move us anyway, and take away our home. But we stood up for
our rights; we wanted an acceptable housing replacement.
After a seven year long legal struggle we succeeded, a new block of flats was built for us and the other residents. My wife cut the ribbon to open the
new flats, together we achieved. No longer excluded, but proud of our new found dignity. Out of exclusion and into dignity.