Charmain Bynoe, a council housing officer for the London borough of Southwark, inspired the nation when she appeared on the TV series Council House Britain. Now, in Home Truths, she shines a light on the challenges faced by so many of our citizens and provides heartwarming and inspirational stories of how they have been helped to help themselves.
The role of our council housing officers is often overlooked and forgotten about. But their work is vital and, for some, the officers are their best hope for a better quality of life. Sometimes, Charmain works with those who are struggling to cope, finding it hard to keep a roof over their heads or to deal with day-to-day challenges. All they may need is some hope, and she is there to suggest a way forward. In Charmain's powerful new book, she looks back at some of the people she's worked with, from the old man who lives in squalor because he can no longer keep his flat tidy and needs support, to the young Ghanaian woman in a coercive relationship who fears that if she speaks out she will be deported.
Britain's housing crisis remains an enormous issue for the country, which was only further highlighted by the Grenfell Tower disaster. But, as Charmain shows, with humanity and consideration for others, we can make things better in ways that don't have to cost a fortune but can deliver results that are truly priceless.
Charmain Bynoe is a council housing officer working in the London borough of Southwark. Raised in a council house herself, she has worked in the housing department for 23 years, and featured in the TV series Council House Britain.
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