Rochdale's homeless community speak up and speak out through the Hidden Tales project

Rochdale's homeless community speak up and speak out through the Hidden Tales project

Rochdales homeless community speak up and speak out through the powerful and uplifting Hidden Tales project

People from Rochdale's homeless community have shared their personal stories through poetry, music and a series of short films, as part of a hugely successful arts project.

Hidden Tales is a unique digital arts and performance project, in which Community Arts North West (CAN), 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.

Brought together to create a digital art trail around the town, the series of short films were viewable via a QR code and proved hugely popular with local residents and the arts community.

The installation ran from October 3 to October 28 and culminated in a live performance as part of the Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival. 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.

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 have a lot of respect for 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.

Phil Foster, Deputy Coordinator at Petus, said: "We were absolutely delighted to be involved in the Hidden Tales project, especially for our service users who really enjoyed taking part.

“Due to the nature of our work, we often hear the stories that nobody else hears and so it really is fantastic that Hidden Tales helped bring them to a wider audience."

For Hidden Tales stories, visit

The Petrus Community, part of the Regenda Group, is a registered charity providing residential and day support services for people in housing need throughout the Borough of Rochdale, helping them develop their skills, independence and choice. For more information visit

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

Petrus NewsPeople NewsService User News   Nov 2017

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