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Where the Streets Have a Name

May 2013

Strange sights will greet the Manchester public this weekend. A curtained bus stop in Timperley will accommodate a homeless man, a fridge, a pot plant and a dog

Strange sights will greet the Manchester public this weekend. A curtained bus stop in Timperley will accommodate a homeless man, a fridge, a pot plant and a dog.

Another homeless man wakes up in a graveyard. A sizeable group of homeless people are on the march across wasteland in Salford. There are crazy goings on in Day Centres in Hulme, village libraries, City Centre parks and bars, not to mention a homeless leprechaun.

This is 'Street Life' in the making - a music video by Acting on Impulse, a Manchester charity founded by members of Altrincham Baptist Church that works with socially excluded people.

Where the streets have a name
After three short films and two stage productions, this is their first venture into music. The characters, concept and lyrics have been developed through workshops, and in the video, a number of humorous yet hard hitting characters from the streets are followed as they paint a picture of what life is really like.
It will be launched online at a screening event in June. Producer Lauren Pouchly is a member of Altrincham Baptist Church, and said the aim is to help build the self-esteem of those taking part, as well as highlighting issues around homelessness and marginalisation.

Lauren, who set up Acting on Impulse in 2007 with the aim of giving homeless and marginalised people a voice through film and theatre, said the biggest change is in giving participants a sense of confidence and self worth.

'The main thing is seeing them come back the following year,' she said. 'Around 15- 20 come regularly to the workshops, they are really committed to it.

'It gives them something they are proud of, and it gives them a sense of community. Some only open up after they've been with us a while, and then you hear things like they've been brought up in care homes, and have had no friends.

'They want to do well and impress us. But the main thing is the confidence. It can have an impact on their addiction problems. Their lives are chaotic and it's great when you see a change in their personality.'

Everything Acting on Impulse produces is professionally done, and the music video is no exception. Salford film company Finite Productions will be behind the camera and Joe Chambers from CBeebies is directing. The song has been professionally written and composed and recorded in a studio.

Lauren describes it as a 'mix of tongue in cheek action alongside genuine issues' - and hopes it will go viral.

'It will be a fast paced fun video which packs a punch,' she explained. 'Once you hear it you won't be able to get it out of your head. And who knows, this could be the next Gangnam Style!'
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