We are developing a series of stories for an urban fox named Harbledown through my work with Catching Lives. These stories are rooted in the emotions and experiences of our homeless community and provide an amazing outlet for expression and artistic therapy, while producing something of enormous value. The first book from the series, Harbledown Hope, is published in October 2017.
Harbledown is a young fox, whose parents were tragically killed in a fox hunt. Injured and traumatised, he anticipates death too, until a large, loving dog named Biggles intervenes. This story of loyalty and rescue is far from straight-forward. Pursued by a blood-thirsty hound, Biggles and the young fox begin their journey toward city lights and the search for shelter, safety, warmth, food and hope.
Choosing the fox
The urban fox is an animal that clients at Catching Lives can readily relate to – often maligned, beaten, misunderstood and victimised. It has been integral to much of the artwork produced. The fox first featured in the iconic map of Canterbury produced by Catching Lives clients.
As is often said…
“Harbledown is one of us.”
The places featured within the stories are those that mean most to our homeless community. Two of our clients have developed a brilliant tour of Canterbury titled “A Walk In Our Shoes”. The tour takes you around the city following the steps taken by the homeless. These same steps are taken in Harbledown’s journey…
The name for our beloved fox came from the beautiful village of Harbledown that lies on the outskirts of Canterbury. The Black Prince’s Well, located in Harbledown, features within our story where the young injured fox bathes within its healing waters.
Harbledown Hope is the first story to be published within the series. Read about our young orphaned fox’s traumatic journey, drawing on the challenges and experiences faced by the homeless who have written and illustrated this book. It is a story of hardship, pain, loss and discrimination, but through friendship, courage and sacrifice, comes hope.
All profits from this book go to Catching Lives homeless charity in Canterbury to support their work with the most vulnerable in society.
Harbledown art work
There is a strong desire to illustrate each of the books we write to enable many others to be involved in the process. People express themselves in such different ways and we want as many people as possible to access the opportunities.
All our stories will be illustrated by the incredibly talented clients at Catching Lives. You can see some of this work in Harbledown’s own artistic wall! Take a tour of the Harbledown Gallery to see the ever-growing array of art work inspired by the series.