The Blackford Trust - Investing in Talent in Scotland and China

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Please note The Blackford Trust is now closed - this page is retained for purely historic interest

Crisis, Edinburgh

Our support

We have provided support to Crisis Skylight, a new education, training and employment service for homeless and vulnerably-housed people in Edinburgh.

Our specific award was to assist in the running of photography workshops in local hostels, followed by a five-week course at an Edinburgh specialist photographic agency. The project was intended enable adults with experiences of homelessness to develop creative skills in a peer supportive environment.

Background to our partner (see also main website and Edinburgh micro-site)

Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people, and is dedicated to ending homelessness by deliver life-changing services and campaigning for change.

Photos courtesy of Crisis

The photography project was one of the first to be delivered by Crisis in Scotland.

Outcomes and lessons

Between May and November 2013, 30 people attended photography classes as part of this project. All had experienced homelessness or vulnerable housing, and many had recent experience of sleeping rough. The co-operation of several hostels in Edinburgh, who hosted workshops, was vital to the success of the project. Several local arts organisations and homelessness support services also provided venues and other assistance.

Courses took place over two terms and a five-week summer school, culminating in a showcase at the Scottish Parliament and an exhibition at Stills, Scotland's Centre for Photography, in November 2013. Media coverage was obtained in the Edinburgh Evening News - the article is available for download as a pdf here.

Participants reported very positively on the project. John Hamilton, who was interviewed by the Edinburgh Evening News, said “taking part in this project has helped my self-esteem, and now I'm able to look forward”, adding, “it's an amazing feeling having your prints on the wall and being able to talk to people about them”. Another described the course as “a wonderful job that was worthwhile, challenging, exciting, informative”, and another said they were now “interested in going to college to study photography”.

Photos are by photographers Cher Brien (left), John Hamilton (centre) and Craig Hart (right), courtesy of Crisis

Other successes arising partly from the project included :

  • one participant volunteered with Stills and painted the gallery for the exhibition

  • two participants progressed into more stable housing

  • three participants moved into regular volunteering roles

  • several participants received 1:1 support with employment and learning goals from a Crisis Skylight Work and Learning Coach

All involved with the photography project are to be congratulated for these excellent achievements.

Update May 2016

We made a small additional award to Crisis as part of our final award package.

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This page was last updated on 18 July 2016.

A charity formerly registered in Scotland, no. SC039658

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