IN YOUR SHOES: New social media editor Claudia Sheridan

Claudia-Sheridan_original_resizedVolunteer Claudia Sheridan had already heard about The Footpath Library after a family member showed her a documentary on Channel 9 a few years ago.

CS:   I have had some prior experience working in digital media, so when I saw the advertisement for a social media manager online, I thought it sounded like the perfect opportunity to get involved.

What has been a highlight for you during your time with TFL?

CS:   It’s really encouraging to see how positively people engage with our page online. I think it shows there is a lot of impetus towards helping the homeless community and changing the negative perceptions that exist. It is easy to focus on the bad things that are said online, but I think social media can be a very powerful force for publicity and change for the better.

Why do you think providing books to homeless people matters?

CS:   I think giving books to homeless people is important on several different levels. In a practical sense, it helps to fulfil the basic human needs that go beyond food and shelter. However, the work that the Footpath Library does in spreading awareness of these needs is also significant in bridging the perceived gap between the homeless community and the rest of society. The Footpath Library helps its clients in a broader way by creating a society that is better informed about their needs.

If there was one myth you could dispel about homeless people, what would it be?

CS:   People in stable living situations often assume homeless people are worlds apart from them. I think this is often used as a way to put barriers up to helping homeless people. Once we let these misconceptions go it becomes a lot harder to ignore their circumstances.

What do you love about reading?

CS:   Reading is such an important escape and draws you in like nothing else. It’s so rare to give your complete attention to something when there are so many things (mainly devices) around to distract you. Reading is one of those few things that can make you forget your surroundings.

Do you have a favourite genre of books/author, if so why?

CS:   I’m a big fan of Irish author Marian Keyes. Her books have such relatable characters and always make me laugh out loud.

What are you reading at the moment?

CS:   The latest edition of Vanity Fair.