Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford homeless people's photos go on display

'Bobby The Robin' by Dave Image copyright Dave
Image caption Dave's photograph '"Bobby the Robin" is being made into a Christmas card

Photographs taken with disposable cameras by homeless people are going on display so visitors can "see what people who live on the streets see".

The exhibition at the Higgins Gallery, Bedford, will feature 58 photos.

Sam Price, Bedford's homeless inter-agency officer, said the exhibition was to "showcase" the talent of rough sleepers and to "raise their confidence".

In September 20 cameras were handed out and 17 came back, she said.

Image copyright Wayne
Image caption The photos highlight an "old-school type of photography, lost in the digital age" said Sam Price

Donated by Fujifilm, they were available to rough sleepers, and people living in hostels, women's refuges and temporary accommodation, who were briefed by Bedford Camera Club.

"I wanted the public to see what people who live on the streets see and to showcase their talent; to make them feel involved and part of something and to really raise their confidence and self-esteem," said Mrs Price.

"I thought we would get blurry images, but we didn't. It has just blown me away.

"People have seen them and have said 'Wow, they are not just snaps, they are photographs'."

Image copyright Sam Price
Image caption Photos by Jason and Tom have appeared in the exhibition

Tom said he took part because "I adore photography".

He added: "When I heard my photos had been selected it made my week. It feels really good to be appreciated."

Jason, who took a photo of the John Bunyan boat said: "It sparked me to take my own photos whilst out and about."

Image copyright Jason
Image caption None of the photos were edited, and were printed just as they were taken, said Sam Price

The "best" image, called "Bobby The Robin" and taken by Dave, is being made into a Christmas card, to be sold to raise funds for homelessness charities.

One hundred of them, with stamps on, would be put in places frequented by rough sleepers, so they can send a card home to friends or family over Christmas, Mrs Price said.

Image copyright Nick
Image caption Some of the artwork will also feature in a calendar
Image copyright Nick
Image caption Homeless people were asked to take a photo of whatever they wanted during one week in September

The free exhibition runs from 3 December to 29 March.

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