You Must Stay At Home

You Must Stay At Home publication – illustrations by Mark Reeve

page updated 22nd April 2021

You Must Stay At Home

Voices from Wellingborough’s homeless community. 

About the Publication

During the first national lockdown in 2020, homeless people were offered temporary accommodation to safeguard them from the COVID-19 outbreak. In order to provide some contact for individuals in Wellingborough, and to give an opportunity for the homeless community to have a voice, Made With Many commissioned Writer Ryan Leder to interview service users and present their stories in the enclosed publication.

The project, publication, and accompanying illustrations have been developed in partnership with Support Northamptonshire’s Home Project, and with input from support workers and service users.

Writer, Ryan Leder commented:

“This work is not representative of one person’s experience of homelessness – nor is it attempting to represent how any one person might experience homelessness – it is instead attempting to capture the human reality of the stories that these participants shared.”

We are sharing a limited number of hard copies of this publication with key organisations and individuals in Wellingborough, and online. We hope that the publication is thought-provoking and provides opportunities for further conversations about this matter.

Content warning

Please note that the publication contains some triggering content related to suicide and mental health. It is also important to note that the work is written exclusively from the participants’ perspective and has used creative licence in presenting the stories. Any accusations made against official bodies within the work is an opinion expressed by the participant, and does not reflect the views of the writer or any of the partners on this project. Due to safeguarding reasons, all of the participants were given anonymity for this project.

Listen on Soundcloud

Extracts from Ryan Leder’s You Must Stay At Home have been narrated by Arte Artemiou and published on SoundCloud, featuring more illustrations by Mark Reeve.

Receive a free copy by post

This publication is only available to adults aged 18+, you will need a Wellingborough postcode to receive a copy.

Order your copy at madewithmany.eventbrite.co.uk

Downloads and links

Radio

Listen to BBC Sounds to hear writer Ryan Leder and Wellingborough Producer Sarah Brown chatting to Tim Wheeler about the You Must Stay At Home book and other activities with the homeless community during lockdown.
Listen from 47 minutes

Poem

I lived in a box

I lived in a box at the end of a needle. This box was my prison, it took all my time.
I lived in a box; it’s walls were my home. I stayed in my box, I was sad and alone.
I lived in a box, I started to grow. My limbs wouldn’t fit, I decided to go.
I lived in a box; I saw light shining through. I climbed the box walls; I knew what I had to do.
I lived in a box; the walls disappeared. I saw colour, I saw light through my grateful tears.
I lived in a box, I’m finally free. My box has been binned for a life of sobriety.
I lived in a box. This past is history. My future is bright, I’m finally me.

Poem written by David Carter from Support Northamptonshire’s Home Project

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