A formerly homeless man, who is now supported by Emmaus Mossley, has helped to create a new street mural in the centre of Manchester.

Pete ‘Cookie’ Cooke, joined Emmaus Mossley as a companion in August 2018 after spending two years homeless – sofa surfing and sleeping rough on the streets of Manchester. With an interest in art, design and photography, Cookie was invited to help create the mural with over 30 other people who have experienced homelessness.

The production of the street mural was organised by With One Voice, the international arts and homeless movement founded by Streetwise Opera. Now named ‘The Doodle on Ducie Street’, the mural was officially unveiled on Tuesday 2 October and Cookie was given the honour of cutting the ribbon.

Cookie, companion at Emmaus Mossley, said: “Thank you to everybody who’s on the wall, in the wall and part of the wall. We’re all part of Manchester – the greatest city on earth – and this has been a massive team effort to make it happen.

“Special thanks to all the partner organisations involved and thanks to lead artists Joel and Sharon who’ve been great throughout the project and encouraged us all to give our best.”

The creation of the mural was coordinated by New York artist and activist, Joel Bergner from Artolution, who specializes in co-created art to address critical issues related to armed conflict, trauma and social marginalization around the globe. Joel added:

“It’s been an amazing experience working with all of the participants here in Manchester. Cookie has been especially dedicated every single day. He came up with many of the initial ideas in the workshop and created many different paintings throughout the whole mural, that represented himself, his story and really giving hope for the future.

“This is what the mural is all about and it’s been great seeing everyone out here, contributing, sharing their stories and connecting with all of the other participants.”

The mural project, managed by With One Voice, was supported by Laing O’Rourke, Human Appeal, Bruntwood, HMG Paints and a number of homelessness charities across the city region.

‘The Doodle on Ducie Street’ mural has been created to launch the International Arts and Homelessness Summit & Festival that will take place in Manchester from 12th-18th November. The festival is open to the public and the programme is made up of rich, exciting arts events, co-created by people who are or have been homeless.

For more information and tickets to the summit visit https://wovsummittickets.eventbrite.co.uk 

To find out more or support Emmaus Mossley head to www.emmaus.org.uk/mossley. If you would like to get involved or donate an item, please call 01457 838608 or visit the store at Longlands Mill, Queen Street, Mossley OL5 9AH.