Exhibition opens with artwork by members of the Deptford Reach community

Deptford Reach’s partnership with arts charity Create continues with a display of artwork at Deptford Lounge, which is publicly viewable from the street until the new year

Exhibition opens with artwork by members of the Deptford Reach community

Photographs and writing created by members of the Deptford Reach community have gone on display at Deptford Lounge, as part of a project with arts charity Create.

Participants created the artwork as part of a 12-week project run by Create, and funded by the Deptford Challenge Trust. Guided by two professional artists, photographer Alicia Clarke and writer James Baldwin, the members of Deptford Reach explored a variety of photographic techniques (including reportage and still-life) and writing styles (including monologues and short stories) in order to express themselves and find their voice.

The resulting artworks are now on public display in the windows at Deptford Lounge until the New Year, and can be seen for free by passers-by.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of the workshops,” said one of the participants. “I like to do different things with my mind, like using the camera, writing and all that. I enjoy coming here to do it because it gives me something to do instead of sitting down indoors all day doing nothing. It helps me with my mind doing different things.”

Deptford Reach’s ‘Speak With My Voice’ partnership with Create has been running 2008. The project gives vulnerable adults the opportunity to work creatively with professional artists and one another, using photography and creative writing to break down barriers, build relationships and trust, reduce isolation, enhance self-confidence and self-esteem, and have fun.

Nicky Goulder, founding chief executive at Create, said: “This important project gives vulnerable adults the opportunity to work creatively with our professional artists and one another, using photography and creative writing to break down barriers, build relationships and trust, reduce isolation, enhance self-confidence and self-esteem, and have fun. Never has this work been more important, at a time when everyone has experienced increased isolation, and it has been a privilege to enable these participants to express themselves and enhance their wellbeing over the past few months. I hope everyone enjoys the exhibition, which demonstrates their talent so wonderfully.”

Jordan McTigue, lead manager at Deptford Reach, said: “This year has seen our work at Deptford Reach look quite different. While we usually operate as a day centre, we are now providing a floating support service to ensure vulnerable people in the community are not further isolated by the pandemic. Taking part in creative projects is something we know is incredibly beneficial, and well received, towards mental wellbeing, and we’re really pleased that this exhibition with Create is taking place at the heart of the community.”

Alicia Clarke, Create photographer, said: “It has been my pleasure to facilitate photography workshops with attendees of Deptford Reach. Taking inspiration from some famous photographers’ work, and discussing the meaning behind images, were key parts of our workshops, and it was so inspiring to then see the world interpreted through the eyes of the participants. There were lots of diverse interests within the group and I feel that everyone found ways to express themselves, and to enjoy the work of their peers. We had so much fun!”

James Baldwin, Create writer, said: “The group chose to focus on screenwriting and adaptation, speech writing and rhetoric, monologues for theatre, poetry and song, and short stories. Across this display you’ll find the pieces of work that each writer feels represents their voice best. Like a photograph captures a single moment in time, the writer’s writing captures them on that day, in that mood, with those thoughts. A literary snapshot documenting unusual times.”

 

Thames Reach delighted to be supported by Social Bite Christmas Meal Appeal

We’re partnering with Social Bite and Just Eat this Christmas to help provide up to 200,000 meals for homeless and vulnerable people

Thames Reach delighted to be supported by Social Bite Christmas Meal Appeal

This Christmas, we’re delighted to be partnering with Social Bite, who are the largest deliverers of freshly made free food to people who are homeless in the UK. They have just launched their Christmas Meal Appeal in association with Just Eat, in order to provide up to 200,000 meals for homeless and vulnerable people over the festive period.

Until Christmas Day, whenever you order a takeaway from Just Eat, you can choose to donate at checkout and help provide a meal for people experiencing homelessness, with each donation being matched by Just Eat.

The Christmas Meal Appeal was officially launched this week by Helen Mirren, and is being supported by other well-known faces including Rob Bryden and Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy.

The funds raised by the appeal are being distributed to a number of charities including Thames Reach in order to support homeless and vulnerable people this Christmas.

‘Thames Reach is honoured to be part of this campaign with Social Bite,’ said Thames Reach Chief Executive Bill Tidnam. ‘This year has been challenging across all our services helping vulnerable people away from street homelessness, but the efforts of communities coming together to help each other has been really encouraging.

‘Our work centres around helping people find decent homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives, an important part of this is supporting people who are moving away from street homelessness, who are working hard to build a home, but who are often struggling with loneliness and isolation.  For them the idea of festive food is important, perhaps most importantly because of what it represents and we are very grateful to be one of Social Bite’s recipients this winter,’ he added.

COVID-19: homeless and vulnerable people need your help during this crisis

We need your support during the COVID-19 crisis to make sure those we’ve helped off the streets are able to escape homelessness for good

COVID-19: homeless and vulnerable people need your help during this crisis

During the coronavirus crisis, Thames Reach outreach teams have been helping people experiencing homelessness and precarious living conditions to escape the streets and find accommodation where they can be socially distant, protect themselves, and help prevent the spread of the virus. We have worked as part of the Government’s coordinated response to the pandemic, known as Everyone In, which has helped thousands of people move into temporary accommodation since the lockdown began.

Now, we’re working hard to making sure that the people we’ve helped during this period are able to move on into secure, long term accommodation and escape homelessness for good. This means not only providing decent homes, but also helping people to gain access to better health care and developing long term employment prospects as they seek to make a better life for themselves in the challenging environment this virus will leave in its wake.

The pandemic remains with us right now, though, and its social and economic fallout is already creating huge challenges for homelessness charities across the country. Our services have been running and adapting throughout this crisis, but we still need your help to make sure that the vulnerable people protected from the virus during lockdown don’t fall back into a life on the street. Your support could help provide a starter kit for a new home, or provide training and work opportunities to help people maintain their independence. It could also help support people with drug and alcohol issues, or assist vulnerable people with mental health needs living alone in the community.

Support us today

Please support our mission to help homeless and vulnerable people find decent homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives, ensuring that no one is left behind at a time when rough sleeping is more dangerous than ever.