My Streets has provided guided tours of the Streets of Drogheda since 2014 with twenty eight souls participating on the programme to date.
My Streets was born when Alan Costello of Drogheda Civic Trust discovered a project being run in the town of Canterbury, England which enabled people experiencing homelessness to become tour guides of 'their' streets. Struck by the simple power of the idea, and the similarities between the two towns, Alan approached a receptive Drogheda Homeless Aid who assessed interest amongst current and resettled clients of the charity in the interesting new enterprise.
Once the troops were rounded up and trainers were identified, a ‘curriculum’ was decided upon and funding was sought. The My Streets programme benefited from early concept development funding from State Street in the summer of 2014 which allowed training to begin in September in the relative splendour of the historic Westcourt Hotel. Training initially consisted of one half day a month provided by volunteer trainers and focused on a mixture of confidence/presentation skills and historical training followed by a sumptuous lunch.
Louth Meath Education and Training Board soon bolstered the bank account which allowed for the provision of weekly training sessions beginning from January 2015 onwards. Last but not least Malahide Lions Club added a kind €1,000 to the war chest on the heels of their successful My Streets tour which saw 91 Malahidians descend on the story rich streets of Drogheda.
Twenty eight individuals have participated on the training programme to date with five people working as part time tour guides. Tours ran on a daily basis throughout 2017 and 2018 to date thanks to a partnership with Irish Day Tours, and currently run on an 'on demand' basis.
My Streets is particularly proud to name Sr. Stan Kennedy, the founder of Focus Ireland, as programme sponsor.