AN exhibition of photographs by homeless young people has gone on display at Blackburn Cathedral.
The project was aimed at connecting young homeless people to the area they live in, and the exhibition tells a story of their experiences of homelessness through their own photography work.
All of the pictures feature the same park bench, which was chosen to appear in the pictures because the young people believed that many people associate sleeping on benches with homeless people.
The young people who took part are also the subjects of the photographs, and the pictures are designed to show that homelessness can happen to anyone, anywhere, and that homeless young people are no different from their peers in many ways.
Photographing the young people around Blackburn and Darwen, in places where they had slept rough, was also an attempt to make them feel more connected to their local area.
Nightsafe’s exhibition was the brainchild of housing manager Nicola Roscoe, following a chance meeting with photographer Chris Lamble.
Chris works for Alternative Futures Group, but also has a photograph studio.
He had offered to help Nightsafe with any promotional photography work, and Nicola asked him to come on board with the project.
Chris said: “I’m surprised with how it turned out, I didn’t think it was going to be quite this good. I’ve never done anything like this before, but the level of dedication the young people showed to the project was fantastic.
“It’s been a brilliant, inspirational experience.”
Nicola said: “When I walked in and saw the exhibition I burst into tears, it’s so powerful and moving. We’ve never done anything like this before, but everyone’s put so much into it, and worked brilliantly together.”
One of the young photographers, Daniel Cook, 25, who stars in many of the pictures, said: “I thought it might be a good opportunity, it took us four or five months to finish and I’ve been at it since day one, it’s been good.
“The photos came out really nicely, I thought they would come out a lot worse, but they’ve come out alright.” The exhibition was funded through the Good Health Fund, set up with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Public Health money.
The exhibition will run until August 14.