Friday, November 01, 2013

I love this story - young people given chances.

Photographic exhibition reveals hidden stories

YMCA & I: Photographic exhibition montage
This week saw the unveiling of a brand new photographic exhibition undertaken by YMCA England and portrait photographer, Amanda Harmanat RIBA in Portland Place, London.
Close to 50 guests attended, both YMCA supporters, and many new faces, enjoyed an evening of Jazz music, signature champagne cocktails and beautiful photography.
The exhibition is made up of 12 individual portraits of young people from across the YMCA, and uncovers and celebrates some of our 'hidden stories' and the range of young people we support and services we provide.
The exhibition also features a poignant portrait of 'The Empty Room' which is shown ready and waiting for the next young person to move in.
Two of the young people featured in the exhibition, Charlotte and Ross, attended the event and spoke about their lives and how they have been helped by the YMCA.
Charlotte spoke about growing up in the travelling community and how she turned to drink and drugs, before moving to the YMCA. She is now studying and hopes to become a play specialist at Great Ormond Street hospital.
Ross spoke about how custody battles and family breakdown, led to homelessness, depression and a suicide attempt, before he found the YMCA, which inspired him to train as a youth worker. Ross ended his speech by saying 'With the right support, and the right help, there really is a bright future for everyone out there.'
The collection also features an image of Olympic gymnast and Gold medallist, Danny Purvis, who still trains at the YMCA gym in Southport where he started his gymnastic career at the age of eight.
The exhibition was much acclaimed by all the guests and we are hopeful that we will be able to arrange a public display and exhibition of the collection over the coming months.