Friday 9 December 2011, 12:30
I had this slightly mad idea. I knew our slideshow A Step Away from Homelessness made for the Radio 4 St Martin-in-the-Fields Christmas Appeal would be showing on BBC Big Screens all round the UK. The slide show is about life on the streets, how you become invisible and how it's often difficult to be homeless in your home town because you don't want people to know you're homeless so you head to London where no one knows you. I wondered what our slideshow about life on the streets would look like on the streets around the UK.
But how to find out? I enlisted the help of twitter. Was there someone in Manchester or Bristol who could take a picture for me? The slideshow was going out at 12.30pm on Wednesday and Thursday.
First to answer my request was Richard, a retired BBC employee! He was so kind and said that his wife was a special needs teacher and they would be in Cardiff with a group of children on Wednesday and he could take a picture.
The Cardiff big screen, picture by Richard
Then there was Antonia in Manchester. She works one day a week in the city centre for Big Issue North. She would be there on Thursday and could get a picture for me. Clare who works for the Mines Advisory Council also braved the winds in Manchester to take a picture.
Manchester big screen
Aurelia who is a designer took this one in Bristol in the Millennium Square.
Bristol big screen
In Belfast, Karen, seen here amongst the trees, works for Capita. They answer our Radio 4 Appeal calls each week and drafted in an army of volunteers on Sunday to help us answer all the extra calls for the St Martin's appeal. Karen and colleague Michael ventured into the Christmas market to take this picture.
Belfast big screen
Finally a photo from Woolwich in London. I described my mad idea to Sue one of our studio managers and she immediately said, I could ask my husband to take a picture for you - so thanks Mike.
Woolwich big screen
So five down, sixteen to go - if I am to get every BBC Big Screen. So if you live (or know someone who lives) in Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Derby, Dover, Edinburgh, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Norwich, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Swansea, Swindon or Waltham Forest and want to be part of a rather mad challenge then the slideshow will be showing on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th December at 12.30pm.
Meanwhile on Sunday when the appeal launched I was fortunate enough to be amongst the volunteers taking calls. It is a very heart warming way to spend time. We've had lots of phone and web donations but the biggest proportion of donations for this appeal have always come in the post, people like to write cheques. So we hope the post man is kept busy.
Sally Flatman is producer of The Radio 4 Appeal
Thursday 8 December 2011, 13:40
Friday 9 December 2011, 19:00