Week long focus by community team and Mike Parr, host of the Morning Show
Friday 19 January 2007 - The BBC in the North East & Cumbria has throughout this week focussed on the work of leading homelessness charity, Tyneside Cyrenians, highlighting their wide ranging work with the vulnerable and homeless in the region.
The ‘Blue Bus’ – well known for its daily forays into the community – was parked at Elliott House, the head office of Tyneside Cyrenians from Monday throughout the week. Mike Parr broadcast his popular morning show from the comfort and warmth of the bus on Friday morning; the ambience remarked upon by many who featured on the programme as on the Wednesday evening Mike had based himself on the streets of Newcastle to experience first hand what it is like to have no home to go to.
During his ‘homeless’ experience, Mike visited the People’s Kitchen, sat alone on the pavement near to Grey’s Monument and later in the Bigg Market and, before ‘kipping down’ in unheated, spartan accommodation, sought out those who sleep rough on the streets of Newcastle night after night.
His varied experiences - were captured by a television crew filming for the new series of ‘Inside Out’ the BBC’s documentary programme which unveils lives in the region. The programme, broadcast at 7.30pm, this evening portrayed hidden lives starkly.
Stephen Bell, Chief Executive of Tyneside Cyrenians explained:
‘We have been so pleased to host the BBC this week – we hope very much that all those who have become aware of the benefit of our work will come forward to support us in the future. We firmly believe that homelessness should be tackled by giving people opportunities – to clean up, settle down, train and become employed. That process leads to sustainable recovery and breaks the damaging cycles of substance misuse and self abuse which many vulnerable people find so hard to break. As a community – with everyone playing a small part – we can banish homelessness forever.’