29 April, 2005

THE SHAKS GHOSH INTERVIEW (Chief Executive of the homelessness charity Crisis)


Posted by Hello
Shaks, you are the chief executive of Crisis - is that correct?
Yes.
Crisis has a new initiative called Skylight, am I correct?
Yes.
What is the purpose of the Skylight, as it is not the normal type of day-centre?
Skylight is an activity centre rather than a day-centre, because we are trying to turn away from the day centre mentality. At Skylight there are no hand-outs, no doctors and nurses or washing facilities. What we are trying to do is move people away from dependency to independence. Skylight's focus is on helping rebuilding lives, giving people purpose. Courses include everything from IT to Tai-Chi, Art to Bike Repair. Skylight is a working model, I have seen people turn their lives around, and gain self-respect. We also have a cafe, which is an important sister project, providing training, ie making coffees, sandwiches, cooking and customer service, which is proving to be a great success.
Was it your final decision that the Big Voice Tour should go around Britain getting prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) views? And is it your fault I am up and half-past one in the morning writing my blog?!
The answer to the second part of your question is no, the blog was your idea! And the answer to the other part of the question is that Crisis has a vibrant group who have many good ideas, including the Big Voice Tour. We couldn't have done it without the band Travis, who gave us the big red bus.
Do you agree with the Big Voice Panel's manifesto?
I agree absolutely, for me it has been wonderful to hear the voice of homeless people. I take the views of the manifesto, written by the panel, on board. I hope that all political parties will do the same.
What would you say or do to make homelessness become a major political issue?
If I had all the money in the world, I would make a new film as powerful as Cathy Come Home. In 1966 Cathy Come Home did change the world.
And finally, if homelessness suddenly found a cure, would you mind being out a job?
Nah! I'd love to tend my garden, and learn more about gardening.

1 comment:

Yvonne Powell (Big Voice Panel) said...

We need people like Shaks in government... When you're already feeling small it can be easy to feel intimidated by someone so high up an organisation, but Shaks is so warm and genuine - she really means what she tells you. And if you've seen her handle the Skylight Views session, you'll know how good she is with people... In a poll we took here, where we could have any member of the Crisis staff in any cabinet post, Shaks came top for prime minister...Look out Tony!