The International Aid Trust Shop
The International Aid Trust shop offers, in these times of struggle and financial difficulties, a helping hand in the form of aid to both the local communities at home and aboard. The IAT is an outreach living church with a shop in Mill Hill, Blackburn, supported by both Christian and non-Christians who reach out to the community to offer a listening ear. Aid is donated in the form of clothing and furniture and good quality goods that meet the needs of the local community at charity shop prices. The community is in a deprived area and is made up of predominately white working class families who are either in low paid employment or in receipt of benefits. Despite there being a community centre a few doors down, the locals see the shop as being a focal point to meet and catch up.
I always knew deep down there was still a community spirit within Mill Hill and that this spirit was alive and well in these times of struggle. For this project, I set out to find what I thought had disappeared amongst the austerity backlash and the aftermath of the Brexit outcome. Meandering the streets and alleyways of this proud community I found this spirit within a small second-hand charity shop. I set out to photograph the people who used the shop on a daily basis not just to buy items or give them away to people more unfortunate than themselves, but to also use it as a meeting point to catch up on the local gossip. I feel through these images that the spirit of human kindness and a togetherness is still evident in this community today despite what is happening else where in these times of difficulty.