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.

 Robbie and Terry in studio for the George Hook show

Robbie and Terry in studio for the George Hook show

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.

 Donal O' Meara, President of Malahide Lions Club pictured with Austin Campbell and Ide Lenihan of Drogheda Civic Trust after handing over cheque for €1,000

Donal O' Meara, President of Malahide Lions Club pictured with Austin Campbell and Ide Lenihan of Drogheda Civic Trust after handing over cheque for €1,000

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.

“This is a great new project which will really help the people taking part who are homeless or recently rehoused. It is a really positive development and one that will help break down stereotypes around people who are homeless”
— Sr. Stan Kennedy, Programme Sponsor
 Martin, Luke, Robbie and Gemma basking in the knowledge of local historian Sean Collins (centre)

Martin, Luke, Robbie and Gemma basking in the knowledge of local historian Sean Collins (centre)

“The aim of the programme is to help the lads to educate the public about their lives, to foster empathy. Rather than giving money to the problem or building more hostels, informing public opinion may be the most realistic way of remedying the problem”
— Austin Campbell, My Streets Co-ordinator