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LEICESTER EXHIBITION HELPS TO GIVE HOPE TO THE CITY’S HOMELESS

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A LEICESTER homeless charity has held an exhibition of artwork created by the city’s homeless community, in an attempt to offer hope and help smash the stigma surrounding this vulnerable group.

The inaugural event by local charity ‘The Bridge Homelessness to Hope’, was held on December 17 at its base on Melton Road, with a variety of art, photography and musical works by members of the city’s homeless on display.

Image: The Bridge Homelessness to Hope

A range of eclectic artworks created by budding artists, were drawn from the charity’s various creative sessions, which ran throughout 2021.

Around 20 homeless participants contributed to various arts and crafts, photography and music groups last year, with artwork produced in a variety of mediums, including black and white sketches, illustrations, paintings, jewellery and crafted pieces.

Photographs on display were part of a ‘City Life’ project, taken by guests over several weeks, showcasing inner-city life using various exposure techniques; focusing on related colour ways and context. The music group, consisting of singers, drummers and guitarists, played three songs to an audience at The Bridge, including ‘Wicked Games’ by Chris Isaak.

The Christmas art exhibition, which was a first for the charity, precedes several key activities in 2022 including a photography exhibition at the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery in March, a musical recording project, the development of a new digital platform to showcase the works and an Instagram page. This year, the charity will also be hosting gardening workshops and creative writing sessions with poet and spoken word artist, Cathi Rae.

David Fawcett, Executive Operations Manager at The Bridge Homelessness to Hope said: “The exhibition served as a form of outreach to get homeless people involved in the arts. It was also a way to challenge the stigma and negative perceptions around homelessness as all too often, vulnerable and homeless people tend to be overlooked by society.

“We would like to thank our artists, musicians, staff and volunteers for their work in making the art exhibition a success and are excited about the future developments that will help our guests to channel their creativity.”

One of The Bridge Homelessness to Hope’s key funders for the charity’s recreational arts therapy activity is Carlton Hayes Mental Health Charity, which funds charities and not for profit organisations, which in turn support individuals of limited means suffering from mental health problems.

Mark Newcombe, Chair of the Carlton Hayes Charity said: “We are constantly looking for charities in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland who can use the funds we have available for our charitable purposes and this exhibition and the contributions by everyone involved at The Bridge is a great example of where the money can make a real difference.”

To find out more about the charity, visit: www.bridgeleicester.org

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