Success stories

Photography contest participants
David is also an artist. Here he is with with a satisfied buyer during Cafe Art's Art Market in Spitalfields Arts Market, October 2015.

David is also an artist. Here he is with with a satisfied buyer during Cafe Art's Art Market in Spitalfields Arts Market, October 2015.

David Tovey almost didn’t come to the 2014 camera handout. He had lost his confidence and said that on the day he just came in to pick up a camera, kept his eyes down, and didn’t speak to anyone. We contacted David as soon as we knew that two of his photos had been chosen for the exhibition. That year one of David’s photos was chosen as the cover of the MyLondon calendar, and the other one won Second Place, People's Choice. David says that the project helped him gain confidence and the following year he not only came to the camera handout, but he spoke at the event. David’s was interviewed for our Kickstarter video in August 2015 as one of his photos was selected for the 2016 MyLondon calendar. David has produced a range of tee shirts for a social enterprise raising money for homeless charities and in April 2016 he held his first solo photography exhibition with The Royal Photographic Society Louise Danby had two of her photos chosen for the 2014 exhibition, and they were both in the 2015 calendar. When Louise was interviewed for the exhibition and calendar captions she was shy. Over time she gained confidence and at an event held in one of the cafes that hang our photos and paintings she met the coordinators of the Phonix Blend Café run by Vibrance. In May 2015 Louise helped start an arts group in their community centre every Tuesday, teaching participants how to make cushions out of old material. Louise even brought in all the material for this project! We are very proud of her for what she has achieved in helping other people, after gaining the confidence to do so through the project. Calendar vendors Wayne Goodman was sleeping on the top of London’s night buses two years ago after his welfare was stopped for a minor error and he was “sanctioned” leaving him without any income for six weeks. During the day he would sell the calendar. “It’s helped me to acquire new skills. I like guiding people to their needs. I’ve had to learn about the features of what I was selling – the calendar – and all the facts associated with it. For the majority of my sales I had to actually explain the item – explain what it actually was to the customer in order to actually get the sale. You can’t just stand there, put it that way! It’s really a plus being involved with the community and being able to talk with people.” Bruce: “Everyone says ‘What a good idea it is’ and that helps sell it you know?... It makes you wake up for something… It kind of gets you back into a thinking way of life. Working and things like that. You know, if you’re homeless it is hard to get a job and this has helped do that I suppose. In that respect, even though it’s only for a few months, you know, it still helps.” Public feedback These were from the online survey in March 2016: “There should be more projects like this to help the homeless as it helps rebuild their self esteem.” “I like the photos and the social cause in helping the homeless gain some financial and creative independence.” “Great gift idea and providing positive support to homeless people through a creative outlet.”
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