Be SMART│ER – The everyday craziness of running an employability programme

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” I am sitting in the small meeting room of an old town hall in East London that is rented by a charity providing employability programmes to young people from the neighbourhood. “If you don’t find time, if you don’t do the work, you don’t …

Homophobic rainbow garlands: the homocommercialism of Brighton Pride

“Nice cans love!” A guy wearing a rainbow garland just walked past my friend who was holding her and her girlfriends’ can of beer, one in each hand out in front of her chest (the normal way to hold cans of beer). “Woah… this is Brighton Pride you can’t be making comments like that.” Of …

Dreaming of Social Mobility: A Train Trip to Central London

Meeting point: 8am, Canning Town underground station. The American investment bank who sponsored this employability programme in East London had invited 15 young participants for a round of mock interviews at their headquarters in London’s business district. Participants had worked hard for this event. They had received ten weeks of training provided by one of …

At the edge-lands of mental health care, whose vulnerability counts?

For our first guest contribution we've invited Natassia Brenman, a PhD student from LSHTM, to share her work on access to community mental health services in London.  I don’t think I ever met the two homeless people who had been sleeping outside the counselling service I spent time volunteering at last year. I’d been there …

Brexit, love and the political economy of rights

All you need is love. The anti-Brexit crowd had stopped its march to parliament square outside Downing street, not too far away from Theresa May’s official residence. Ten thousands campaigners, activists, families and children had met on this Saturday morning to express their protest against the triggering of article 50. All you need is love …