Sheffield photo exhibition explores ‘day in the life’ of homeless

Ed Russell, who is exhibiting his work at Sheffield City Hall
Ed Russell, who is exhibiting his work at Sheffield City Hall
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Photographs taken by homeless and vulnerable people of their everyday lives in South Yorkshire will go on display in a new exhibition.

A Day In The Life Of is a project organised by the charity Crisis in hostels in Sheffield and Rotherham.

Photograph from the A Day In The Life Of exhibition

Photograph from the A Day In The Life Of exhibition

Five people from Sheffield and two from Rotherham were given disposable cameras to take photographs of their day-to-day lives.

The photos were produced as part of a summer school project run by Crisis Skylight South Yorkshire, the charity’s education, training and advice service in Sheffield.

It is hoped the exhibition, at Sheffield City Hall, will challenge people’s stereotypes of homelessness.

Ed Russell became involved with Crisis when he was forced to stay in Salvation Army hostel, in Charter Row, Sheffield for six months because of a drink problem.

The photography project is one of several he has taken part in.

Ed said: “I’d never really taken many photographs before but I really enjoyed it. It makes you start looking at things differently and appreciate what’s around you.

“I’ve had a bit of a chaotic life so I got to just celebrate the ordinary things for a change like my walk to work across the park.

“I took the photographs as a narrative of my life from when I got up. I stuck to the same areas and did what I normally did every day.”

The 60-year-old has now secured his own flat in Norfolk Park, has completed courses in cooking and IT, and is enjoying the stability which ‘normal life’ brings.

He added: “I am getting some self esteem back and I’m meeting people that I wouldn’t normally meet.”

Photography classes are one of a range of course offered by Crisis in South Yorkshire. Last year, 388 people attended classes and sessions ranging from singing and pottery to IT.

Mandy Carlson, director of Crisis Skylight South Yorkshire, said: “A Day In The Life Of really puts our clients’ creativity in the spotlight, allowing them to bring their work to a wider audience and raise awareness of the world through their eyes.

“Being homeless can be a devastating experience, and art projects like this gives homeless people a chance to rebuild their confidence by learning new skills and showcasing their talents.”

A Day In The Life Of runs until Friday, from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Admission is free.