Staying centred – audio slideshow

It’s amazing how when I’m really busy I always manage to fill my time on stuff which has nothing whatsoever to do with my deadlines. While at university for the first time, it mainly involved tidying my room. These days I have plenty of work-related stuff to be getting on with – and this is the only time I don’t struggle to get things done (albeit not the things I really need to be doing). Anyway, I’ve spent all of today editing audio clips from my time at the Booth Centre, a drop in for homeless adults in Manchester, and then throwing some introductory audio together with some images to produce the little piece above. The reason why I’ve been doing all this is simply because I’m heading down to the centre tomorrow to show some of the service users my work. While I’m planning on mainly showing them a wide edit of images with no audio, I thought it would be nice to include a little multimedia as well. It breaks some of the golden rules I was taught when I trained with duckrabbit – namely that you shouldn’t have more than two voices within a piece like this, but I couldn’t find another way around it. I also have four three-minute-ish audio tracks edited down where these service users tell some of their own stories, which I’ll post in due course. I personally think they are quite interesting but if I made tomorrow’s group sit through them, I fear they may lose their minds. They’ve heard it all a million times before.


The Booth Centre is a drop-in centre for homeless adults in Manchester city centre. In this single room beneath the cathedral, people with a multitude of issues are encouraged to use their time positively. Opera singing lessons, art and cooking classes and trips to the bowling green and the centre’s allotment are among the sessions on offer each week. Most service users live with a drug or alcohol addiction and/or mental illness. While some will kick their habit or learn to live with their problems, others will not. I’ve been visiting the centre several times a week since March to get to know some of the regulars and take photos of their sessions, and carried out a series of interviews about their experiences. It’s been quite an education.

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