This is one of the saddest features I’ve written for ages. Mandy Jamieson lost her 16-year-old son Daniel to knife crime last year. Today she is trying to raise awareness of the problem through a grassroots campaign in Liverpool, Platform 4 Change. Click on the image above for the feature from this week’s Big Issue North.
“This place offers a level of stability that many of us wouldn’t otherwise have. There are people in here who are willing and capable, they just haven’t been given the opportunities, for various reasons.
“We’ve got a lad in here who has been working full-time since Christmas, and he’s been able to hold that job down because of having somewhere to stay. Another resident has just found a local labouring job.
“We’ve got people who arrived, straight out of the doorways, holding a single plastic bag but now, thanks to donations from the public, they have managed to get some belongings – a few pairs of jeans, shoes and boxer shorts. These things make them feel a bit more human again. It doesn’t feel fair to strip them of their humanity all over again.” Stacey Martindale
I’m epically failing on the blogging front these days. It might not seem like it but I am still alive and working – I’ve just become very poor at sharing said work. Much of my work at the moment is for the Big Issue North. Here are a few recent pieces.
Earlier this year I applied my research skills to a rare non-journalistic brief: a mapping report looking at the health of my local high street in Levenshulme, Manchester. It mixed dry quantitative research with a large number of qualitative interviews and the result was a technical report that was more than 50 pages long. The hope is that the information I gathered throws some light onto the challenges facing this struggling district centre and helps motivated local residents and businesspeople to take control of our environment. More information is available from over here and the resulting report can be downloaded from here.
There’s only a few weeks left of my Arts Council-funded Roma exhibition at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Turn Sideways in the Wind. This tells the stories of three young Roma migrants to Greater Manchester and ends on 24 April. Editing the work and putting together the show was a huge learning experience and I feel lucky to have been given this opportunity. It was also really great to see the project participants look at the work on the walls. If anyone is in the Greater Manchester area over the coming weeks and fancies a look, more information about the gallery can be found here. It’s right next to Salford Crescent train station, just a few minutes from Manchester city centre.