What is Camerados?

You’ve heard of ‘Camaraderie’, well it’s kind of like that.

The word comes from a Walt Whitman poem called “Song for the Open Road”. A Camerado is the person he hails to come with him on a journey because more important than money, more important than anything, is a Camerado.

Camerado is not a word traditional “services” would ever use. We’re about fun, friendship and doing things we enjoy. “Services” don’t do things like that very often, but people do.

We have 4 defining principles which are central to all we do:

Failure is essential to success.

Services put pressure on individuals to succeed, penalising failure. Failure is OK and part of how we learn. Understanding this creates resilience.

Helping others is more powerful than being helped.

The most positive changes happen when people are asked to help others. It creates self-worth and belonging.

Challenge stigma. Always.

Stigma isolates. Confounding stigma empowers people and creates a wider cultural change.

Diversity makes us all stronger.

Maybe right now, in the future or the past, we all have tough times and we are all the same. We are all Camerados.

Why did we do this?

Because after years of working with people experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, drug use, prison and life in a tough community we believe this stuff “works”. People with tough lives aren’t getting it and it’s gone on long enough.

If you believe “Friends and Purpose” is the answer for people having a tough life, then get in touch and maybe we can hatch a project together. We always need more Camerados. Everybody does.

We’re not the only people who think like this: 

“1 in 4 formerly homeless people find themselves unable to sustain a tenancy with loneliness and isolation the main causes of this” — Crisis, “Homelessness and Loneliness”, 2000
“More than half of young people become homeless because of a relationship breakdown” — Homeless Link, “Young and Homeless”, 2011
“People with multiple disadvantage asked ‘Whose help can you really count on in a crisis?’ 60% answered Family or friends” — Lankelly Chase, “Hard Edges: Mapping Severe and multiple disadvantage in England”, 2015
“Lacking social connections is a comparable risk factor for early death as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and is worse for us than well-known risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity.” — Campaign to End Loneliness, Loneliness Research, 2015
“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection” — Johan Hari, “Chasing the scream: The Last days of the war on drugs”, 2015
“People in solid relationships are 50% less likely to get serious illness” — Relate/NPC, “The Best Medicine”, 2015