Simon on the Streets is an independent charity that works with those who have unmet complex needs and cannot or will not access mainstream services.
Within that group the focus is on people who are homeless and rootless, especially those with issues related to rough sleeping. Remaining independent of statutory funding is critical to our success as it allows us to work without restrictions and to deliver tailor-made support on an individual basis.
The charity achieves this by offering support on an entirely outreach basis with no time limits thus removing many of the key barriers to engagement experienced in this field. The approach taken with service users is to recognise emotional support as a high value offering and to understand that building a quality relationship with service users will underpin any support given. Our workers support people to find aspirations and give unlimited opportunities to achieve sustainable positive change. This emotional support evolves over time to underpin more practical activity around advocacy and liaison with other specialist services.
The pressure is always on for us to fundraise and raise our profile and we like to do this in as many unique ways as we can think of.
This year we are working with Leeds Beckett University on ‘Sounds on the Streets’. Sounds on the Streets is a busking competition open to all street musicians. The aim of the competition is to highlight the city’s street music talent whilst raising funds and awareness of our work.
The competition HEATS will take place the 5-8th October in Leeds Trinity Kitchens, a semi–final will be held on 9th October as part of the Light Night festival and the Grand Final will be on the 9th December. We might have a romantic idea of buskers as homeless people with a guitar and a talent. The reality is that this is not the case, the vast majority of buskers are musicians in their own right, and they are not living on the streets. However, there are key connections between street music and our work. Music requires and invokes empathy, which is the key skill practiced by our team in their outreach, street based work.
We hope that the sound of the streets will be truly reflected in the competition, with an array of eclectic and diverse musical voices. Applications will be accepted up until 4th September. If you are a musician and would like to enter please complete your application here: bitly.com/soundsonthestreets and please do share and help us spread the word.
Visit Simon on the Streets here.