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Pilot Issue 2 : October 2010

Get involved with FLACK

World Homeless Day 10/10/10 Sunday 10 October 2010 is World Homeless Day. This a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of homelessness in Cambridge. Our city is renowned worldwide for its beautiful architecture, famous university and of course, punting! But people rarely see the other side of Cambridge. Cambridge Link up is organising a unique Sponsored Discovery Trail, taking in 20 sites throughout the city that relate to the experience of homeless people in Cambridge (past and present).

Link-Up Stall on Midsummer Common 11 - 5 Wintercomfort Day Centre open 11 - 5 Sunday Lunch and Street Voices This is a great chance to raise the profile of homelessness and much needed funds for Cambridge Link-Up

Can you help? We are urgently looking for volunteers to help us over the weekend of the 10th. Please contact Emma on 07527 646045 if you can spare a few hours.

We are looking forward to a great day!

Cambridge Link Up is a homeless led community group organising projects, awarding small grants and representing the views of homeless people to policy makers. We meet the first Wednesday of every month at 3pm at 222 Self-Build. We can offer small grants, help with footwear and a lot more.

Got an idea for an article? Interested in learning some new skills? Want to help with binding or distribution?

FLACK NEEDS YOU! We’re at Wintercomfort every Monday from 10 – midday and at 222 every Thursday 3 – 5pm email: text Kirsten on: 07962 685220 or drop by on a Wednesday 11 – 5pm : The FLACK Base is is a friendly welcoming place with a reliable supply of good conversation, tea/coffee and biscuits. It’s marked on the map on the back cover – very near the Access Surgery , just ask for FLACK at Reception. Why FLACK ? Well ... homeless people get a lot of flack ! (aka random criticism) ... and ‘to flack’ means to publicise and promote and that’s what FLACK is all about ... providing a positive insight into who homeless people are, what they have to say and offer.

THANK YOU! for all your positive comments on our first issue - we particularly liked this one from Steve Hall - cheers Steve!

“What a marvellous little ‘rag’ FLACK is, compact, concise, succinct, superb! Like a homeless handbook. LOVE IT”

The Heart Of The Matter The heart is, in my opinion, the most wondrous organ within the human body. It is essential to life and is considered by many to contain the soul.

Drinking a lot of alcohol affects the heart in different ways but the two most serious effects relate to the heart’s electrics and its pumping action. The heart’s internal electrical system allows it to work as a pump. By affecting the electrics, alcohol can cause a chaotic heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation [AF]) that can make you breathless and at risk of having a stroke. When alcohol affects the pumping action of the heart it can make the heart muscle very weak (heart failure). If left untreated this causes breathlessness, reduced energy

2 dimensional image of a heart taken using a special ultrasound machine (echocardiogram). It shows the 4 chambers of the heart and 2 of the valves (yellow arrows).

I work as a heart specialist at Addenbrooke’s hospital and in my job I have the privilege of imaging (taking moving pictures) the human heart using a technique called ultrasound, the same thing used for looking at babies inside their mother’s womb. Over the years I have looked at a lot of hearts; I have looked at the hearts of people of all colours, religions and from every social class and they all look the same; they all look beautiful (even the poorly ones). Most of my job involves looking after adults who are ill and I’m often asked about the effect of lifestyle on the heart. The FLACK team asked me the following questions: • What can you tell about the lifestyle choices of a person by looking at their heart? • Does the heart of an alcoholic look different from the heart of an IV drug user or someone who eats a fried breakfast every day and why? The main problem, for the heart, of injecting drugs is the risk of getting an infection on one of the valves inside the heart (Endocarditis). This infection is due to bacteria from the skin or from dirty gear or unclean works getting into the blood and then travelling to the heart. The bacteria can destroy the valves which means the person might need heart surgery. The other effects of injecting drugs on the heart depend on what is injected, and some drugs (e.g. crack) are

and may lead to death. Whilst having an occasional fried breakfast will do you no harm, eating too much fried or fatty food, like smoking, causes furring of the arteries around the heart (coronary heart disease). The furring of the arteries leads to blockages that can cause heart attacks. I believe that it is never too late to make positive changes in lifestyle and with modern medicine many diseased hearts can be made much better. If anyone else has any questions about the heart please contact FLACK, but I can’t promise to know all the answers! Here is an example of a question that gave me great difficulty: I had been asked by a friend who was a teacher to talk to her class of 8 year olds about the heart. I spoke in general about how it worked and then asked the children if they had any questions. To start with everyone was very quiet and then a little girl at the back of the class put her hand up and asked ‘Is it true that you can die of a broken heart?’ I couldn’t

Meeting Seasick Steve by Nick Dominguez Street Voices meets at Akeman St Community Rooms on friday mornings, see our centre-fold calendar for details. New members of all abilities always welcome. Along with several other members of Street Voices, a musical group comprising of members of Cambridge's homeless, ex-homeless and vulnerably housed community, I attended Mojo magazine's interview with Seasick Steve. We had been invited to the interview to coincide with his appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival at the end of July at Cherry Hinton Hall. Seasick Steve came on to the stage for his interview  carrying a bottle of wine and looking like a resident of Jimmy's Nightshelter. He gave me the impression that he was just like a successful member of Street Voices, he was no different to most of us. In fact he could've been one of us, he was laid back and didn't give a damn. At 69 years of age he had earned the right to not give a damn having had a lifetime on the road. A resident of both the UK and Norway, Seasick Steve has become quite a celebrity in recent years and has appeared on both the Jonathan Ross Show and with Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear. He plays a number of different instruments including the 'Three Trance Wonder', a three string guitar, the 'One Stringed D i d d l e y B ow ' w h i c h h e p l ay s w i t h a n o l d screwdriver and the 'Mississippi Drum Machine', a small wooden box that is stomped upon for percussion. He also plays the four string 'Morris Minor Guitar' which has been made from two old hub caps from the classic car. Steve was born in Oakland in 1941 and left home at the age of 13. He'd spent time in Tennessee and Mississippi - he jumped freight trains, slept rough and lived the life of a hobo. He began  reminiscing about his colourful  past during the interview, which was very enlightening. He'd been in San Francisco in the 1960's at the height of flower power and had lived amongst the hippies. He had been friends with both Joni Mitchell and the late Janis Joplin, and he'd also played with Blues legend Freddie King. In the 1990's he'd spent time in Seattle and hung around the Grunge scene there. During this period he had counted Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain (who was also homeless at one time) as one of his friends. Steve's big break came when he appeared on The Jools Holland Show a few years ago. After that his career took off. In 2007, he played more festivals in the UK than any

During the interview, he said that the last festival he had attended before he began performing at them was the notorious Altamont festival in 1969 where a murder had taken place in front of the stage while the Rolling Stones were performing 'Sympathy for the Devil'. Steve had lived the same kind of lifestyle as myself and other members of Street Voices, and he came across as very down to earth despite having made the big time. There was nothing false about him at all, he was completely natural. I'd like to think that if any of us in Street Voices ever made it big that we would be the same. The way he interacted with the audience made everybody warm to him and his great sense of humour throughout the interview gave the audience much to laugh along with. After the interview we went backstage to meet him and his drummer Dan Magnusson. They were great; they were unpretentious and received us warmly. Street Voices leader Kay Barrett presented him with a bag of goodies including a Street Voices bandana and some of our latest recordings. We sat and chatted with him for around three-quarters of an hour while a small crowd waited outside. He was one of the most approachable people I've ever met. He was a typical street person and so natural. We ended up performing for him and along with the other members of Street Voices I sang 'Key to the Highway' and my own song 'Black Hat Blues' for him. After that, we all broke into 'Dirty Old Town' which seemed to strike a chord, as he and Dan  sang along with us. Later in the evening, along with harmonica player Rob Waugh and singer/guitarist Mally Driver, I watched him perform on the main stage. It was an  awesome performance (being filmed for BBC2)  during which he gave Street Voices a plug. It was a great day and one which we will all remember. Meeting Seasick Steve made us feel that there is hope


by Jay Raphael

Can you find seven differences between these two images ... let us know and win a FLACK badge.

FREE IDEAS by S. Robin Ahmed


Who says ‘nothing in this life is free’? Well, here is your chance to experience something unique and it’s all for free!

‘Drumming Workshop’ on Saturday 23rd October - this is an opportunity to learn to play rhythms from Haiti and Brazil.

For ten days this month the University of Cambridge presents a Festival of Ideas and here at FLACK we have some limited tickets available on a first come, first served basis. The Festival first took place in 2008 with over 200 events. It is a celebration of the arts, humanities and social sciences with dozens of free performances, taster sessions, film screenings, workshops and exhibitions. It includes a series of intriguing evening lectures and debates with a range of hands-on


‘Recreating Distant Worlds’ on Wednesday 27th October with renowned palaeontological artist, Bob Nicholls ‘Experimental Printmaking’ on Sat 30th October at Anglia Ruskin University’s print studio. So, come to the FLACK office on any Wednesday before these events between 11am to 5pm to get your free tickets. You can find FLACK on the map at the back of this magazine. Act fast – tickets are limited!

from Emma Hyde (East Anglia’s Homeless Commissioner)

Every City Council has a Homeless Prevention Fund. This is a pot of money, that everyone is entitled to apply for to prevent themselves from becoming homeless.

WHAT’S ON @ wintercomfort

for the homeless

8.30 - 10: Mental Health DropIn with Laurence

10 - 3.30: Weaving & Sculpture with Roger and Susanna

10 - 3.30: Weaving & Sculpture with Roger and Susanna

1 - 2: Computers with Alison

10.30 - 3.30: W with Roger

1.30 - 3.30 : Sports with Ally

10 - 11: My Story

also welcoming people at risk of homelessness and those who have moved on into their own tenancies.

10 - 12: meet up with FLACK

& elsewhere

2 - 5pm : FLACK Workshop

see the map on back page for where these activities take place >

8.30 - 10: Street O

11 : Film Club 10.30 - 1: Squeaky Gate Music

1 - 2: Maths with Roots ‘n Shoots: 9.45 pick-up from Wintercomfort

Make an appointment and we’ll help you contribute to the magazine . 07962 685220

11 - 5 : Reworks

Cyrenians Ceram pick-up from Win

11 - 5 : FLACK Dr








have a ghost story party - its Halloween!


Buffet booking 5 4 Food4Food help needed 10 - 12


take a trip down memory lane and play conkers on Jesus Green

10 - 1.30: Health & Footcare @ wintercomfort Women’s Football: Chesterton Astro 7.30 - 8.30 FREE

3pm : Cambri Meeting @ 222 S



Only Football 12 Men 8.15 - 9.15 CRC Astro

Portrait Painter - John Glover @ wintercomfort

Food4Food Buffet booking help needed 10 - 12 8.30 - MIdday : Footcare @ wintercomfort

WORLD HOMELESS DAY lots happening (see article)

Women’s Football: Chesterton Astro 7.30 - 8.30 FREE


18 Roots ‘n Shoots Mkt Stall 19

Arts&Minds Festival: Music and poetry from 7pm FREE Junction

Women’s Football: Chesterton Astro 7.30 - 8.30 FREE



Cambridge Drawing Society Autumn Exhibition Leys School 10am - 4pm

8.30 - 12: Health & Footcare @ wintercomfort Women’s Football: Chesterton Astro 7.30 - 8.30 FREE




27 Men Only Football 8.15 - 9.15 CRC Astro


Willow Weaving

y with Alison

h Alison

s Bike WkShop

8.30 - 10: Street Outreach

8.30 - 10: Ceramics

9 - 11: Alcohol Drop-In with Malcolm

8.30 - 10 Showers, laundry and clothing store

10.30 - 3.30: Willow Weaving with Roger

9.30 - 12: Carpentry with Paul 9 - 12 : Quiz and Board Games 12.30 - 2: Cooking with Wendy

Free cooked breakfast for rough sleepers or £1.75 + free sandwich lunch if taking part.

2 - 3: Literacy with Alison

8.30 - 3.30 Internet access

Cyrenian’s Women’s Pottery : 10am - midday Unit 7 Barnwell Drive

11 - 5 : Reworks Bike WkShop

10.30 - 2.30: Meet up with Cambridge Link-Up Roots ‘n Shoots: 9.45 pick-up from Wintercomfort

mics: 9.45 & 1.45 ntercomfort

12.30 : Women’s Group @ 222


3 - 5 : FLACK @ 222




ridge Link-Up Self Build

& everyday...

8.30 - 10: Street Outreach



Street Voices 10.30 - 12.30 Akeman Street

Food4Food Buffet booking help needed 10 - 12



12 - 3: Art Group @ wintercomfort

Mind, Body Soul Fair Spirtualist Church, Newmarket Rd




Football for All : 7.30 - 8.30 Behind Abbey Swimming Pool

Street Voices 10.30 - 12.30 Akeman Street

Destiny of Nature Kettles Yard, Castle Hill 4pm FREE

14 Food4Food Buffet booking



12 - 3: Art Group @ wintercomfort

help needed 10 - 12

Football for All : 7.30 - 8.30 Behind Abbey Swimming Pool


Street Voices 10.30 -12.30 Akeman Street


Football for All : 7.30 - 8.30 Behind Abbey Swimming Pool

Random Electronic Music Kettles Yard, Castle Hill 4pm

23 Art of Dreams (talk) 11am The Pitt Building, Trumpington St




Football for All : 7.30 - 8.30 Behind Abbey Swimming Pool

12 - 3: Art Group @ wintercomfort

make the ducks happy with your leftover Pret Sandwiches

FLACK CROSSWORD # 2 Ham and Bean Bake 125g cooked ham, salami, garlic sausage, corned beef or spam cut into 1cm chunks ½ onion, peeled and diced ½ tin cannelloni beans ½ tin tomatoes, quartered 1tbsp chopped parsley 1tsp sweet chilli sauce 75g grated cheddar cheese Salt & Pepper Preheat oven to gas mark 6 / 200C. Mix all the ingredients, except the cheese, in a shallow ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until it has melted . Serve with fresh bread. Across 1. I wandered lonely as a cloud until I came upon a ____.(5) 2. Posh word for sewage.(8) 3. The Beatles’ record-label.(5) 4. There are tears upon my ____.(6) 5. Restricted ___.(4) 6. I have become comfortably ___.(4) 7. A bit like BIG, a bit like leg, I have a big leg? (3) 8. You will get this if you live near the town dump.(4) 9. The Serpent of Time leads us to the____.(7) 10. When the quality of performance is better than everyone else.(10) 11. A reptile in the Birthday gift. Nasty.(7) 12. Old English word for steep, wooded valley.(4) Down 2. What would we do without this person? There’d be no News.(8) 3. Johnny Depp is often accused of being this.(4) 4. Posh word for being rich.(8) 5. If you need a hand up instead of a hand-out you might start vending __ __ ____.(3,3,5) 6. They say poets, novelists and Hollywood screen-writers do most of their best work when they are ____.(6) 7. All of the best stories begin once ___.(4) 8. ____ house.(4) 9. Robin Williams’ Dead ____ Society. (5). 10. _____ stockings. (5) 11. Criminal Investigation Department. (3)

Have you got a favourite cheap and tasty recipe ? - get in touch with FLACK - we’d like to publish it for others to enjoy!

September Crossword Answers

oops spelling mistake it should be harassment !

FLACK BARGAIN HUNTER # 2 The newsagents on Victoria Avenue sells loose tobacco. You can buy a 3 grams for £1 and he does exotic flavours too ! Jude tried the rum and vanilla flavours and said they were nice. If you buy 12.5 grams you get a free lighter and pack of papers. Got any tips for those days before pay day ? - tell us about them.

object of the month #2

Have you got what it takes?

by Josie Camus (Fitzwilliam Museum)

by Jade Rivers Can you bend it like Beckham, or ballet with the ball like Georgy Best? Well, come on let’s see if you can kick it for Cambridge! In collaboration with Cambridge Sports Network and Cambridge City Council, free football sessions are being set up around the city. Men’s are on Tuesdays, women’s matches are held separately, so we don’t show them up, hey ladies?, they’re on Mondays. On Thursdays there’s a free-for-all fun match for both the boys and the girls to dazzle each other with their brilliance, or even to do some ego stroking at half time. These fun an’ games for both will be running from the right through until the 19th December. For further details please check out the Flack centre-fold calendar. So get up, get out there and fill yourself up on FOOTBALL FUN for free!

© Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

A Vase of Flowers with a Monkey Ambrosius Bosschaert ~ 1635 Life is like a bunch of flowers: All pert and fragrant when they’re fresh, but soon becoming withered and bug eaten… The Fitzwilliam museum has a whole room of these seventeenth century Dutch flower paintings. They were reflections on human mortality, but also gave the painters a chance to show off their glittering dewdrops and downy skinned peaches… This picture was painted in the 17th century, when the Netherlands was in the grip of ‘tulipomania’. New trade routes had opened up, making the seafaring Dutch very wealthy. Tulips (named after the Turkish word for ‘turban’) were being imported from Turkey, and sold for increasingly crazy prices: Just one of these red and white stripy ones would have cost 300 times the price of the painting, or 3000 times the daily wage of a manual worker. A tulip ‘bubble’ was created, a bit like the housing bubble that caused the recent credit crunch. It may be that the monkey in the picture is the artist’s way of mocking the folly of the tulip buyers. Two years after the painting was made the tulip bubble burst and the market collapsed. The flower paintings can be found in Gallery 17.

Musa Kamara, (left of Emma) with his YMCA Cambridge team mates after winning the Tommy McLafferty Tournament.

You never know, you might end up playing in the Homeless World Cup like local (and homeless) man Musa Kamara. From the threatening streets of his youth and being witness to stabbings almost on a daily basis, he is now one of England’s youngest football captains. Musa Kamara has overcome many obstacles, even a near death encounter, but now he is enjoying his new role as Captain of the England team for the Homeless World Cup, which was held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in September. At the time of writing England are doing really well. Check out the results at

Funny How

Remembered Friends

by S. Robin Ahmed Funny how things work out Amidst all hopes and doubt. Funny how money brings money Without it there’s no joy or honey. Funny how you take big risks For little bit of thrill and frisk. Funny how what drugs do to your mind Forgetting all, becoming reality blind. Funny how one minute you are high Next minute you break down and cry. Funny how you make the same mistake Again and again – learning nothing yet. Funny how you fail to win Living your life like a rubbish bin. Funny how you want it all to end But still wait for what’s round the bend. Dedicated to my fellow lost travellers.

To Breathe or Not to Breathe? by Jade Rivers

( Read this poem after inhaling once deeply. ) Light bulbs smash, out of cash, all you know how to do is suck on ash. It’s yourself you disregard, time to think hard You only have one lifetime, you only have one heart Morphine and chemo your only reward For all those wages you’ve paid A shortcut to your grave But while you’re awake Consider with haste

Glyn Putwain 1953 - 2010 On Friday 10th September friends gathered at 451 Newmarket Road, the Cyrenians Controlled Drinking Project, to share their memories and celebrate the life of Glyn Putwain, or as he preferred to be known ‘Uncle Glyn’. An apple tree was planted in his memory. Glyn was a passionate supporter of the Willow Walker, he offered his experience as stage manager to many a concert, contributed his poetry to the magazine and to the Both Sides of the Tracks CD and never forgot a Cambridge Link-Up meeting, even when he was unwell. FLACK will be publishing an extended tribute to Uncle Glyn in our next issue.

How many breaths Are left for you to Take!

also remembered ... Stephanie Rout our thoughts are with her partner, Andy.

YOUR OPINION Every voice helps What do you think of local drug and alcohol services ? If drink or drugs are an issue for you, or have been in the past, the decision makers want to hear YOUR views.

£10 Tesco Voucher or Phone Top Up for taking part. Limited numbers, so get in quick! Make sure your voice is heard, all surveys are anonymous.

Meet Gem to take part: Wintercomfort : Monday 11th October 8.30 - midday Addaction Mill House: Monday 11th October 1pm - 4pm 222 Victoria Rd : Thursday 14th October 3pm - 5pm YMCA, Gonville Place: Friday 15th 2pm - 6pm Jimmy’s Nightshelter; Friday 15th 6pm - 8pm (outside) or call 07754160742 ..... (let it ring I’ll call you back)

Britain is failing to win the “war on drugs” the estimated £5.3 billion a year trade continues to boom despite government after government attempts to quell it.

Services will be expected to get people clean or risk their funding. Users could lose their benefits if they refuse treatment, these strategies will be announced later this year.

The new coalition unsurprisingly has a new spin on things. Within drug treatment services things are changing, the new governments focus is to get more than 200,000 of the most seriously addicted users off drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and crack, leading them to a full recovery and to abstain from drugs.

So this is your opportunity to talk to those in power.

No more long term scripts and emphasis on harm reduction.

Policies are being thought up. Decisions are being made about your lives. Turn up, have your say and maybe, just maybe, we’ll make a difference.

Gem Thomson

Useful Telephone Numbers

DWP : 0845 6043719

Access Surgery : 01223 358961

FLACK (Office) : 07962 685220

Addaction (Alcohol): 01223 723020

Jimmy’s Nightshelter : 01223 576085

Addaction (Drugs) : 01223 723069

Police: 0345 456 456 4

Addenbrookes Hospital : 01223 245151

Willow Walk Hostel : 01223 519400

Bridge Project : 01223 214614

Wintercomfort : 01223 518140

Cambridge Link-Up (Emma) : 07527 646045

222 Victoria Rd Hostel : 01223 352718

Camdoc (out-of-hours) : 01223 464242

Boots Late Night Chemist: 01223 357487

Crisis Loan : 0800 1695198

any others we should include? let us

FLACK # 2  
FLACK # 2  

FLACK is a new monthly magazine based in Cambridge, UK which involves homeless people in all aspects of its production. FLACK aims to go on...