Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Changing the picture for homeless women

May 22 2009
Hard-hitting images reveal the photographers‘ experiences of prostitution, drug addiction and homelessness A photographic exhibition showing the work of women with problems of prostitution, drug addiction and homelessness was on display between July and August at a restaurant on Blackfriars Road. The free exhibition, hosted by Baltic Restaurant (74 Blackfriars Road), was the result of an eight-month project called Change the Picture run by vulnerable women's charity U-Turn and PhotoVoice, which runs photographic workshops to help disadvantaged people develop photographic skills. The project brought together a group of vulnerable women and taught them photography while giving them an opportunity to "speak out safely" and share their difficulties. The subject of the 'hard-hitting' images is the lives of the women themselves. U-Turn, which was set up in 2004, claims there are more than 700 women battling with drug addiction, prostitution and homelessness in the East End. The charity, which helps 250 women a year, claims most are under 25 and have been addicted to drugs for more than 10 years. Nick Broomfield, patron of U-Turn, said: "It's shocking to think that helping homeless prostitutes isn't on the government's agenda. These women are among the most marginalised and hard to reach in society." This year U-Turn said it would introduce more educational and development projects similar to Change the Picture. The charity said the project's aim was "to re-build the women's confidence and self esteem in the short term by learning new skills in a structured and nurturing environment, while offering encouragement in the longer term to help them to turn their lives around." U-Turn also offers a confidential outreach and drop-in centre.