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Rochdale’s homeless community speak up and speak out through a powerful and uplifting live performance of Hidden Tales

Rochdale’s homeless community speak up and out

People from Rochdale’s homeless community took to the stage at Touchstones on Tuesday 17 October, and performed to a packed-out venue to share their personal stories through poetry, music and a series of short films that can be viewed online at www.hiddenrochdale.co.uk

Taking place as part of the Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival and hosted by Mancunian poet, Mike Garry, the event featured an inspiring and unique programme, which told real-life stories of strength, survival and self-discovery in life’s most challenging times.

The event was a culmination of Hidden Tales, a unique digital arts and performance project, in which Community Arts North West (CAN), has collaborated and worked with service-users and volunteers from Petrus, a charity working with people who are homeless or at risk in Rochdale, Rosendale and Oldham.

CAN’s Creative producer, Sara Domville said: “Over the last 18 months, I’ve seen the participants of Hidden Tales project grow as people and develop their confidence as artists. To see them get up on stage and perform so incredibly well in front of so many people was just brilliant and very rewarding. On behalf of Community Arts North West, I’m thankful to each and every one of them for having the strength to talk so openly and share their personal life experiences.”

With stories shared about mental health, addiction and recovery, the Hidden Tales event raised awareness and understanding around a range of important social issues, which are often misconstrued and misunderstood.

Sara Domville continues: “The event was enjoyable and entertaining but crucially, it also made you think, and provided a reminder of the importance of speaking up and speaking out about issues which matter and affect so many of us.”

The series of short-films screened at the event, which tell each of the Hidden Tales stories can be viewed online at www.hiddenrochdale.co.uk. The films can also be seen as part of the Hidden Tales Digital Art Trail live around Rochdale Town Centre until 28th October. The trail includes eight unmissable artworks, which are on display in public spaces, and feature a poem, a portrait and a QR code to the participants’ films.

Hidden Tales is supported by Arts Council England and The Granada Foundation

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