Surviving in Manchester: Naratives on Movement from the Men's Room

Hughes, Jenny, Roy, Alastair Neil orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4807-7352 and Manley, Julian orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2548-8033 (2014) Surviving in Manchester: Naratives on Movement from the Men's Room. Project Report. University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Manchester.

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The Men’s Room is an arts and social care agency that works creatively with young men, offering them opportunities to get involved in arts projects whilst accessing support for challenges they may be facing in their lives. The project engages different constituencies of young men experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage, including those involved with sex work or with experience of sexual exploitation, and those with experience of homelessness and/or the criminal justice system. ‘Surviving in Manchester’ was commissioned by the Lankelly Chase Foundation (LCF) and aimed to explore young men’s routes into the Men’s Room as well as how they defined successful service provision. The research included ethnographic fieldwork, walking tours led by young men to sites that they connected with their survival in the city, and a Visual Matrix conducted with staff and volunteers. It argues that the relational approach of the Men’s Room is a key organisational strength. This approach combines informal and formal support, unconditional acceptance, clear ground rules, and gauging of supportive interventions in ways that are sensitive to the young men’s readiness and ability to ‘move on’. It also includes valuable opportunities for social gathering, creative expression and public storytelling and image-making that extend the artistic and imaginative capacities of the young men and celebrate their abilities and experiences.

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