Mike – Tour guide
Some words about me
I never imagined that I would find myself helpless and homeless. I had had a very successful career, was earning a good salary and lived in a desirable area in the borough of Camden. I had worked in senior management for many years and had never experienced problems with securing jobs.
In 2009 during the banking crisis I was made redundant and couldn’t secure a job for 2 years. Eventually I was given notice to leave my rented flat. With no prospects and savings exhausted, I sold a few items and took myself to Vietnam to teach English and hopefully ride out the recession. This was going well until I was taken seriously ill and had to return to the UK at the end of 2011 with little or no money.
On return to the UK, I was sofa surfing with family and friends but eventually found myself homeless. I was refused Jobseekers Allowance and any kind of housing or shelter because I had been abroad for nearly 2 years. I was at my lowest, feeling broken and broken-hearted. I needed help, I couldn’t solve my problems alone. With the help of two charitable organisations for the homeless in Camden who tackled Camden Council on my behalf, I was eventually able to receive benefits and get housed.
It’s been a long and challenging journey, and conversely a rewarding one. Life is still difficult but I remain upbeat and am looking forward to the challenges ahead.
I’ve previously worked in the music business managing artists and as the majority of my friends are musicians or DJs I still spend a lot of time involved in the music scene in Camden. I also host the live music stage during the Spring and Xmas Primrose Hill festivals.
I do a little writing and recently published a short comedy / crime adventure novel for children called “The Children’s Detective Agency”
Camden is the epicentre of everything creative in London from music to fashion to art. Let me share my first-hand knowledge of the history of contemporary music in Camden from early Pink Floyd performing at the Roundhouse in 1966, through to the emerging Indie scene of the 1980s up to the establishment of Camden being the home of all the major Brit Pop artists of the 1990s.