DR. MEL'S MESSAGE - From my novels to my other projects, no telling what you will read. This is the only place you will get to read about how I developed a screenplay into a novel and what is the driving force. I will talk about many things from films to books to acting to producing. It really will depend on where my mind takes me. I hope you will join me on this journey.
Gutter to Glory, from Pavements to Parliament is a true inspirational story filled with hope. Starting off as a heartbreaking story of a young girl, who ends up in care at the age of eleven. Whilst going through the various life transitions and hormonal changes Kerri was left feeling alone and abandoned. At the age of thirteen Kerri began running away from foster care and started to sleep rough in Westminster, London. Throughout her teenage years she became more and more unstable as her poor mental health became more evident and her self-control disappeared. Masking all that she went through in her earlier years with substance abuse, Kerri created her own world that she would rarely let others enter in fear of being hurt. Disengaging with services and severing all ties with support, Kerri deteriorated on the streets in Piccadilly. After a chaotic five years of substance abuse, due to the loss of her son through a defeat by the local authority! Kerri finally trusted a service again. Accessing support, she finally got off of the streets and into accommodation. It wasn’t plain sailing from there though as Kerri received the shocking diagnosis that changed her life dramatically. Walking around with a death sentence it was a literal live or die scenario. Despite many hardships and hurdles along the way, Kerri rose to fight every day. As she pulled herself up out of the gutter and off of the pavements of Westminster, the life she once knew somehow disappeared and a new life was born. Twelve years on, Kerri has not only broken free from her own homelessness, but she is also now on a mission to end homelessness for others. How does one go from sleeping on the pavements of Westminster, to speaking in the houses of Parliament? You will have to read the book to find out…At the end of the book, you will find a Q&A section covering some important content if you work in homeless outreach or wish to help in the sector. This book will inspire and bring hope to many but most importantly, it will hopefully start a ripple effect to see system change...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 February 2020
I briefly met Kerri recently at a St Mungo's event where she was one of the speakers. She is clearly a remarkable woman with amazing inner strength and very articulate. As her book describes, she has been let down by both family and the care system, but they have also both been present in her recovery. As you read this book bear in mind that you are reading about someone with remarkable resilience and intelligence, and how even someone with those natural gifts can experience the spiral of descent. Next time you see a down-and-out on the streets think that this could be another Kerri. And remember that she pulled herself around from the depths into which she had descended, and that a catalyst for her recovery was the compassion shown by some of those who went out of their way to help her. This is a book about the bleak side of modern life, but it is also a book about hope. Read it if you want to understand the realities of the consequences of poor parenting which all too many children experience. And read it if you like a happy ending. Apart from that it is a page turner and a cracking good read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 February 2021
Kerri shares her life's story. It involves a nomadic childhood with a mother who had serious mental health problems. Kerri herself had been diagnosed with ADHD and had a Care Plan with Social Services. It would appear that Social Services gave up on Kerri because of her challenging behaviour and she found herself homeless on the streets of London. Despite having engaged in a life of petty crime and drug addiction Kerri was eventually able to turn her life around. It is a very moving story and shows that more needs to be done to help people get off the streets.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 September 2019
I received this book on Sunday and I’ve finished it already! I couldn’t put it down what a great account of real life adversities, recovery, bravery and proof that people can really change! My hat goes off to the author! I’ve ordered 3 more for Xmas gifts!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 September 2019
What a sensational book on so many levels!! Firstly it's an absolute page turner - I read it in 2 days. Secondly it's such a privilege - it's very rare anyone is so insightful and unguarded to open up in this way and tell their story and there is so much courage and hope. Thirdly what a story - there are so many social policy lessons - so many ways things could have been different and so much to learn from it. I am so so grateful to have read this!!
Kerri Douglas is a full time single parent, author and true life writer. Writing about social issues from lived experience. Using what she knows to help others grow, she has one mission in sight, to see system change.