I have been working with the drop in centre and soup kitchen in Totnes. Its a small shelter, running on a shoestring budget, offering warmth, food and support. I got to know many of the people sleeping rough in this rural town and learnt about some of their life stories. In the process I have made a film for the charity to help raise awareness of the issues around sleeping rough and hopefully to help raise some more support for their work.
This assignment has really touched me and I received real warmth and welcome from some of the people I worked with. Mandy and Martin, who feature in the short film and in many of these photos, really welcomed me with an open heart. When they showed me the sheds that had been their home for a while Martin gave me a gift of some incense for my home. Mandy had created a painting for me as a gift too, and it was when I went to collect it from her caravan that I discovered it had been torched and destroyed. She’s now had to move away because she feels too vulnerable living here. What I learnt was that sleeping rough is sometimes a life choice born out of circumstances that for many people may be unimaginable.