My journey so far...

Mat outside Poached Creative's office at Bootstrap, Dalston
By Mat Amp

My journey with Poached Creative started several months ago, as the result of a conversation with my case-worker at St Mungo’s.

I was living in supported housing and was looking at various ways to reconnect with the world, both socially and professionally, in recovery from substance abuse issues that had eventually left me homeless.

I was informed of a free journalism training course being run by Poached Creative, a social enterprise, who were working in partnership with The Pavement, the free pocket sized magazine for people who are homeless.  

At the time I was throwing myself at just about everything to see what stuck in a ‘try everthing commit to nothing’ approach to life and I have to admit that my initial reaction wasn’t that positive. To be honest I thought it would be a waste of time, especially as the weekly seminars meant an hour tube/train ride across London from Brixton to Hackney and back.

But I put my concerns aside and set off for the first session with absolutely no expectations. I say that but I must have held on to some because I was surprised by just about everything that followed.

The sessions were set around a large oval table which helped us all relax and open up, promoting the kind of positive and constructive atmosphere that was so important as a canvas for the highly informative lectures that followed. One seminar on storytelling and the practical session that came a week later, ‘writing your own story’, was an epiphany to me. It was during that session in Hackney library writing about my experiences living in a homeless hostel over the past few years that I rediscovered my deep love of writing, a desire that had deserted me during those few bleak years living at the margins of society.

The final session on interviewing techniques was outstanding, the icing on what had been a pretty tasty cake of an experience. I was going to miss it. 

Or was I? Well the simple answer to question was no. When Poached Creative held out its collective hand with the offer of volunteer work at their new offices at Bootstrap, I bit it off.


  1. Great article. Good to hear about more success stories from the Big Issue Online Journalism course.

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  2. Thanks Sam, great to hear from you and I look forward to seeing you for our social media marketing seminar on 5 November!