Have you ever been in a hospital? Not a nice feeling. Now imagine being homeless and needing help from a hospital. This is what Federico Garcia asked me to do. At Frontera he has created a wonderful idea to raise money for a homeless charity and we need your help to fund it.
Pathway is a charity that works on improving the healthcare standards for rough sleepers and homeless people across the UK and thus improving their chances of getting on the path out of homelesness. They work with hospitals across the country ensuring that the most vulnerable groups receive compassionate care leading to a more positive life path.
Pathway have just launched a campaign promoting their work in which seven former homeless people who benefited from the charity’s work donated items of clothing dear to them to fashion designers across Europe to upcycle for charity. The pieces hold particular significance as the ones they valued most from their time on the streets. The fashion designers will upcycle them and the owners’ “stories of rebirth” will be stitched to the inside of the clothing.
Frontera asked me to take portraits of the seven donors to help promote the campaign and in particular the crowdfunder which will hopefully pay for the organisation of the auction where the upcycled clothes will be sold.
The stories the sitters told me were heartwrenching. Each different and each uniquely touching. From stories of abuse at home that led to running away from home and life on the streets, to seemingly small accidents leading to the same outcome. These people have been through awful things and I was honoured that they wanted to share their stories with me in front of my camera.
If I had learnt one thing it is that sometimes a few moments of bad luck can turn one’s life upside down. Stability is not a given: even with a successful career just one unfortunate trip on the underground can lose you a family and the life you’d known. Luckily, it works both ways - even from a life of prostitution people can turn around and help others in need. We need organisations like Pathway to help the bad stories turn into the best ones.
You can find out more about Pathway on their website: http://www.pathway.org.uk/about-us/