Harbledown Hope

Harbledown Hope: a journey through homelessness written and illustrated by Catching Lives with the assistance of children's author Andrew Buller

Harbledown Hope written and illustrated by Catching Lives

Harbledown Hope is the first book to be written and illustrated by the incredibly talented clients at Catching Lives and co-authored by Andrew Buller. It is about a young orphaned fox’s traumatic journey, drawing on the challenges and experiences faced by the homeless. It is a story of hardship, pain, loss and discrimination, but through friendship, courage and sacrifice, comes hope. All profits from the book go to Catching Lives homeless charity in Canterbury to support their work with the most vulnerable in society.

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“Harbledown is one of us”

Harbledown Hope has been inspired by the experiences of the clients at Catching Lives. The choice of an urban fox to represent homelessness with its many ups and downs resonated with the emotions expressed by our community. Harbledown’s emotional and physical journey, wandering a lonely road, maligned and misunderstood, has given a strong voice to the many contributors. Illustrating the written word has included many more clients and produced a truly collaborative mix of styles and talents. The fox’s progress through Canterbury links closely with the “Walk In Our Shoes” guide to the city produced by the homeless at Catching Lives. The story is set just after the Second World War, but today’s visitors and residents of Canterbury will recognise every step of the way.

Example pages from Harbledown Hope: a journey through homelessness written and illustrated by Catching Lives with the assistance of children's author Andrew Buller

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Harbledown represents the suffering and pain

As the author and illustrator of children’s books, it has been a great privilege to share this journey, helping clients to recognise they have a voice and that they can share their many and varied talents. From its brainstorming birth, through story-boarding, research and the craft of writing with many revisions, every contribution has been valued. Laughter has erupted regularly. As you read this story, you will realise that Harbledown represents the suffering and pain experienced by so many here at Catching Lives, but through community and the love, kindness and courage of others, there is a future and a hope.

Harbledown showcases such talent

The mix of artistic styles throughout this book showcase the wonderful talent within our community. Pages from the book below demonstrate this beautifully…

Example pages from Harbledown Hope: a journey through homelessness written and illustrated by Catching Lives with the assistance of children's author Andrew BullerExample pages from Harbledown Hope: a journey through homelessness written and illustrated by Catching Lives with the assistance of children's author Andrew Buller

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Harbledown’s inspiration to others

Harbledown Hope is so much more than a book. It is the culmination of countless conversations, experiences and emotions. Through perseverance and determination, this work has been a significant confirmation of each individual’s self-worth. Hopefully, it will be an inspiration to others. It has been an honour to work with the incredibly talented community of Catching Lives on this project.

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Harbledown Hope: a journey through homelessness written and illustrated by Catching Lives with the assistance of children's author Andrew Buller

Harbledown in the Catching Lives bookshop

Harbledown Hope shines out in a beautiful front window display at the Catching Lives bookshop. Visit this beautiful and historic building with the crooked door in Palace Street, Canterbury and purchase your copy of our book, available from the 10th October 2017.

Harbledown Hope written by Catching Lives and Andrew Buller appears in front window display at Catching Lives bookshop, Palace Street, Canterbury