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Charity for disadvantaged families to hold touring photo exhibition to ‘Uncover Westminster’

23 April, 2019 — By Tom Foot

Children’s trips out of the borough are organised by the charity – such as this one to Brighton

A CHARITY for disadvantaged families is holding a photography exhibition revealing the inequalities of Westminster as part of 30th anniversary celebrations.

Westminster Befriend a Family is organising a show exploring a day in the life of a “borough of contrasts”.

It says it is an area of start­ling inequality with some of the worst levels of child poverty.

The exhibition aims to shine a light on the true character of area through residents’ stories.

Charity director Catherine Mahony said: “We are grateful and humbled by three decades of voluntary service to vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Westminster. To celebrate the occasion, together with the communities we serve, we will be holding a touring photography exhibition throughout 2019, and are inviting all photography enthusiasts to get involved.

“The brief for the exhibition is very simple, and yet very wide: ‘Uncover Westminster’ submissions should capture ‘a day in the life’ in our borough of contrasts. Landscapes, portraits, personal documentary… From spontaneous street moments to organised set-ups, we want people to show us their unique vision of this multi-faceted borough.

“The aim is to illustrate the positive side of Westminster, and to also think about what else could be done to make this a borough where all families lead fulfilling lives, free from the consequences of poverty.”

Westminster Befriend was founded in 1989 with the aim of providing full family lives for those who do not have one.

Volunteers are trained to provide visits and there are support groups and education, mentoring, projects, and social activities for young people and for parents.

Some of the families are refugees or asylum seekers or just newly arrived in this country and in need of help. It also organises trips out of the borough for young people.

Local authority cuts have meant that the charity now receives no statutory support, so has to raise 100 per cent of the funds needed to provide its services.

Julian Bates, a director of Mace Ltd, which is funding the project, said: “The Mace 1 Grosvenor Square project team is proud to be part of the Westminster Befriend a Family exhibition. We are committed to supporting the local community and are delighted to be invited to be involved in this event.”

Winning and shortlisted exhibition entries will feature at a launch party on July 25.

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