Bristol

Photo exhibition showcases Bristol's community businesses

Making friends and enjoying the facilities at Barton Hill Settlements Family Centre Image copyright Mark Simmons
Image caption Mark Simmons said his photos "reflect a basic dignity and honesty in inner-city communities"

A new exhibition of photographs will "document the friendships and opportunities" being built by community business projects in Bristol.

Bristol 2019: A New Kind of Community by Mark Simmons showcases businesses which generate positive local impact.

Mr Simmons said his life's work "has been to document and celebrate community achievements and endeavours".

The exhibition runs at Trinity Community Arts in Lawrence Hill from 27 November to 5 December.

The businesses involved include Bristol Bike Project, Barton Hill Settlement, Bristol Ferry Boats and Arnos Vale Cemetery.

The photos were commissioned by Power to Change, an independent trust that supports community businesses across England.

Southmead residents enjoy an active class Image copyright Mark Simmons
Image caption Older Southmead residents enjoy staying active

Mr Simmons said: "My desire has been to document the lives of ordinary people in the classic tradition of street photography, reflecting a basic dignity and honesty apparent in the local inner-city communities that I lived, worked and spent time in.

"I wanted to show the reality of Bristol, a melting pot of people from different cultures and walks of life that I felt were under-represented within mainstream culture and media."

Bristol Bike Project's Tony Green Image copyright Mark Simmons
Image caption Bristol Bike Project's Tony Green helps the city's most vulnerable have access to free wheels

Bristol Bike Project's Tony Green helps the city's most vulnerable have access to free wheels.

He said: "There really is something for everyone here. So many different faces come through the door every day. It's like a second home for people - a friendly place to come, fix bikes and have a cup of tea."

Volunteers in action at Windmill Hill City Farm Image copyright Mark Simmons
Image caption Windmill Hill City Farm "provides something for everyone in its community"

Steve Sayers of Windmill Hill City Farm said: "As austerity has bitten into social services, Windmill Hill has responded by weaving together socially-focused enterprise with hard-won charitable funds to create a blend that provides something for everyone in its community."

Community business staff and leaders at Southmead Development Trust Image copyright Mark Simmons
Image caption Southmead Development Trust said money earnt is "another penny going into the community's wellbeing"

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