A weekend of celebration at Justlife!

In Manchester, for our ten year anniversary we decided to combine our birthday celebrations with the launch of ‘Not Home’, a novella set in a Manchester B&B written by Sarah Butler with beautiful photography by Stephen King. We had a fantastic time at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation with friends, family, clients and supporters of Justlife, who came together to hear about how the novel was conceived, and Justlife through the ages.

Sarah and Stephen had the chance to talk about how the novella came together, both in writing and image, chaired by Alex Fleming who previously worked for Justlife and is now a Trustee.

We heard a fantastic poem by one of our ex-clients, inspired by his time in unsupported temporary accommodation and were delighted to award volunteer of the year to Craig, who previously used our services.

Gary Bishop, CEO, spoke about the start of Justlife, and how he and his wife Hannah were inspired to find out more about this type of accommodation after a friend died in a B&B in Higher Openshaw in 2008. We also heard from staff, old and new, and their experiences of Justlife – sometimes funny and always inspiring experiences!

In Brighton, we also hosted our second full exhibition called ‘Journeys’ and a pop-up fundraising shop. Thirteen artists that have experienced homelessness shared a little of their journey through portraits, creative writing and photography. We saw over 100 visitors who left positive and encouraging comments for our artists.

“What an inspirational project. Fabulous creative expression from some hidden and often tormented citizens. Viva Justlife and our homeless community.”

“Great show and display. Great souls behind these works. Keep loving yourself and the works will show their energy. Well done Justlife and the artists.”

On the Sunday we did some live art accompanied with live music from a collection of the artists, and got people involved by getting them to join in with the art.

We sold Christmas cards designed by 9 artists, Christmas decorations by the Sew2Speak team and MyBrighton&Hove Photo project calendars – 6 of the 13 photos are from Justlife artists.

We are looking forward to our next exhibition in the Spring, and are hoping to support the artists to earn through their art by making the work more marketable. We had ideas such as creating a book of stories and poetry, printing cards of their artwork and framing photography to sell as part of the exhibition.

Our visitors appreciated it too!

“Such talent expressing life experiences – often so sad many sharing positivity. Thank you for this great exhibition.”

“Such a beautiful and interesting mix of work. Thank you for sharing it with the public.”

“Thank you for sharing this great exhibition – an insight into what makes Brighton such a special place.”