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high streetIn every community there is almost always a high street. From small corner shops to supermarkets, family owned shops to co-operatives. When times are good our high street flourishes the community and neighbourhood are strong and cohesive and times are good.

When you start to add things in like redundancy, unemployment, benefit cuts and sanctions then people don’t have money to spend. Every penny is spoken for so splashing out on that nice duvet cover, rug, bottle of wine or meal out stops.

Shop rent and rates go up, produce goes up because transportation costs are high and slowly the shops struggle to make enough profit to cover costs. Shops change hands, close down and the high street becomes a desolate waste land.

The effect on the community can be harsh, people spend less and less on their homes, with poor educational chances crime rates go up, ill health from poor nutrition and lack of access to basic health services affect the neighbourhood an inequality between individual’s and families becomes apparent and social segregation occurs. Those who have a job live on the nice side of the street where as those on benefit live on the wrong side of the street. It has to have an impact on peoples state of mind.

This can make for good community spirit as everyone is in the same situation or similar but often people feel displaced and on their own.

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Closing library’s Reading, one of the most useful, mischievous, secretly rebellious of acts. I can remember from an early age going to the local library with my mum to change my books and the…

Source: Do they have to close our library’s?

librarys closedClosing library’s

Reading, one of the most useful, mischievous, secretly rebellious of acts. I can remember from an early age going to the local library with my mum to change my books and then later with my friends to do homework and to hang out. They were always a quiet peaceful place to go and sit and read a book or magazine in. If you needed help the librarian could always be counted on to find what you were looking for. In the days pre internet that consisted of Encyclopedia Britannica and paper and pen!  Closing libraries is a fine way to keep the poor powerless, anyone could walk through those solid wooden doors and read quietly and learn. Our local library is the free custodian of local stories packed with drama and emotions and the history of where we live, filled with radical, stupid, exciting ideas all in one place, what more could you want. Get ride of libraries and you can wave goodbye to the type of escapism that is only found in books. Take away the library and you take away the one truly powerful thing for people who can’t afford an ipad or kindle or who have no quiet place.

There are so many other things the library gives you easy access to, the council offices re-situated there as the buildings housing them were sold off  to save money. Instead of going to the Town Hall to get help with your benefit or arrange your rent now you go to the library. Computers giving anyone access to the internet, for a fee. The Citizens Advice Bureau, trained volunteers there to help with free advice.  It is our community lifeline, sometimes our only access to the internet, take this away from the old, poor, disables and you take away our power and confidence. Every day we face the unintended consequences of our governments ill thought out and criticised moves to save money and combine benefits, thought out and implemented by those without money worries, who have no problem with paying their bills and their mortgages, is this just a way to punish the poor and balance the books on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society.

Crowdfunding

I have not heard a great deal about it and certainly no one i know has ever asked me to contribute to their crowd funding project, quite possibly that is a good thing as i spend most of my money on my photographs! But then i had an idea for a photographic project and as it developed i realised i was going to have to fund it in some way. My project is called ‘Poverty is a state of mind’ and i started it because of the things i have read in the media and experienced my self with regard to benefits and the stigma attached to people on them. I knew what i wanted to aim for and realised that as i am a landscape photographer i would actually need a new camera lens as all the ones i have are telephoto/zoom and if i am going to speak to charities and individuals it would be nice to be able to offer a donation for their time. Then i have the cost of printing my photographs to exhibit them, so there is indeed quite an expense to be covered. I looked at a few crowdfunding sites, Justgiving, Fundingtree, Kickstarter, Indigogo to name a few, there are literally loads out there and decided to go with Fotofund as it is aimed at photographers.

poverty

Crowdfunding is a way of raising your finance by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money. Crowdfunding uses the internet to talk to thousands – if not millions – of potential funders. Typically, those seeking funds will set up a profile of their project on a website (Fotofund) then they can then use social media, alongside traditional networks of friends, family and work aquaintances, to raise money. Once a donation is made you then reward the donor with something, either a photograph or set of photographs from your project down to a thank you on social media. Typically you would work an hour a day posting on your blog, up dating your website, using social media, sending emails and ringing potential donors. Its hard graft and you have to do it to see the results.

You can visit my Fotofund page at http://en.fotofund.org/campaigns/poverty-state-mind-damn-government-dictates/  pass it along on your social media if you would and look out for future posts.

 

Poverty is a state of mind

My Fotofund project is in need of donations. I am running out of time and money and need to find backers as soon as possible. Please click on the link and read about my project, i think it is a worth while subject.

‘I want to document the effects the austerity measures have created. The struggle families go through to provide the basic necessities for every day living. The struggle young people go through to find work and the punitive measures used against them if they fail. To explore the changes it has made in the definition of poverty and how it differs in the 21st century.’

poverty

‘There have been so many changes to the benefit system. No longer do you get to sign on, walk out the door and collect your money. Now it is job searching 6 days a week and prove it. They have moved the posts on disability benefits. Where once you were helped if you couldn’t do certain things, now you are helped because you can do certain things, only this way there are significantly more people taken off the benefit than are helped. We now have ‘sanctions’ the suspension of your benefit if you don’t toe the line. I want to document the struggle, heartache, despair, that is felt by the people who perhaps didn’t vote in the Tory government and to do that i want to produce a body of photographic work that will show case the emotion, bring to your attention the abject poverty modern families find themselves in.  To show you the effects of the reforms on men, women and children and what it can do to their mental well being’………..

I figured that as a reasonably successful photographer it was time to have a hosted website! lol I’ve been at it for three months and its still not finished, no where near and i have had to call a company for help (Wirral Websites). It’s really easy to make a website, that is what it says on the page anyway. Choosing the appearance of your site is difficult enough, there are so many. Paid, free, colourful, black and white, for photographers, not for photographers OH MY GOODNESS where do you begin? Any way i did and got stuck, at the moment i have a new website which is incomplete and awaiting ‘The Man’ to tell me what to do with it. I would appreciate it if you would go and have a look, i am posting my new project about poverty on it which might interest you. If you like it please comment, i could use a few, i hope at some point to transfer this blog over onto my website so look out for that. Anyway things can only get better and to help it along, here is one of the photographs i took when Chris and i went out to Crosby. Have a great rest of the day!

crosby, statue, iron, man, antony gormley,another place, seaside, sea, beach, sand, tourism,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheeky Boy!

 

Poverty is a state of mind

who’s mind

no jobs

weary

hopeless

depressed

anger at the struggle for daily living

made to feel worthless and lazy

second class citizens by the very people who should help

tired

ashamed

who do you think you are to say my struggle is all in my head

with your silver spoons and Eton education

do you really think you know how we suffer to live on seven quid a day

you say we need to cut the GDP

what about our debt

the fat cats sit on their cushy jobs and with no mind to the results

cut here cut there

slicing into our lives

but never their own

never their own

the old boy network help themselves and look down on the degraded suicidal

sanctioned

how can we pull ourselves out of this mess when there are no resources for us to use

we are not all lazy

worthless

work shy

scroungers

tell us enough and maybe we start to believe it

is poverty the state of my mind

the struggle is not in my head

we suffer the abuse

the prejudice

the shame of joblessness

oh they say

there are schemes for you to try

but where are the jobs

get yourself back into work

but where are the schemes to help start your business

stress

fear

despair

we will beat it and we will better it

poverty is not a mindful thing

it is that family pushed and shoved and squeezed into debt just because that 1% help themselves and the country goes to pot

but we will do it and we will do it well

and f*uck the government

we will do it without your help

no longer sanctioned

no more shame

not ostracised

stigmatised

demonised

but once again a member of the working class

poverty may still be there

but not in my mind

 

 

I have loved using Nik software and today i found Google has put it out for FREE!
https://www.google.com/nikcollection/
Analog Efex Pro
Color Efex Pro
Silver Efex Pro
Viveza
HDR Efex Pro
Sharpener Pro
Dfine
all for FREE
Thank you Google, we really appreciate that!

Do we really want another golf course on the Wirral? We already have over a dozen courses, there is even a women’s course, does it differ to men’s? Hoylake, Wallasey, Caldy, Leasowe, Bidston, Heswall, Eastham etc etc….. they rang in difficulty, Hoylake home of the Open golf championship to Adventure Golf in New Brighton. Dotted around the edges of our beautiful peninsular making the most of our parklands, there are short courses (9 holes), windy, sandy courses, a women’s course, flat courses, historic courses,  i suppose if you were a serious golfer you could play any way you fancied, as long as your a member.

If you look at the Wirral as a whole it is made up of 60 square miles of fabulous seaside, parkland, woodland,  rural walks farm, horse, west kirby, and cycling routes, historic villages, industry, great restaurants and many wonderful artists in an active artist community. There are over 320.000 people situates in towns and villages over the Wirral but there is also a lot of rural land, we have farms, pigs, cattle, sheep, turkeys, award winning farm shops, Tam O’shanter urban farm and GreenBelt land which should be left untouched.

Because of where we are situated Wirral is lucky enough to be visited by many unusutoadal birds through out the year with Parkgate being one natural hotspot. Both the Mersey and Dee estuaries are internationally important wildlife sites for waders and wildfowl in winter. We also have marsh land and reed beds home to Natterjack Toads. Do we want all of this spoiled by yet another Golf course/resort?

Jack Nicklaus is going to design our new course, he has been involved in the design of 290 courses. At least 70 Nicklaus Design courses have been ranked by major industry publications but how many have failed? Polaris World in Spain crashed and burned, Mount Holly Club Utah didn’t work so why should it work here? We dont need our environment disturbed, our animals moved from their homes, our flood plain interfered with so a minority can wack a small ball around our countryside. This will lead to new roads, new homes we wont be able to afford and more traffic!hoylake, golf,open,

This is not one of those ‘Not in my back yard’ type of cries, we really dont need this golf resort, change one of the established courses, give it a new designation but seriously dont let Jack Nicklaus ruin what is such beautiful countryside. There is a meeting on March 29th 2016 at West Kirby United Reform Church starting at 7.30pm for anyone who would like to air their views or just find out more details. Please dont leave it to others to raise their concerns, every voice needs to be heard.

Lake District Malarkey

6 Top Lake District and Lancashire Photography days on the edges of Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay is actually a multiple estuary with 5 rivers draining into it. The area is approx 120 square miles stretching from Walney Island near Barrow in Furness to Fleetwood.

1-1-P1490799

1 MORECAMBE & HEYSHAM PENINSULA

Sunderland Point (tidal) is a quirky village where the River Lune meets the sea. One visitor attraction is Sambo’s grave. There are seabirds, boats and views towards Glasson Dock and Fleetwood. Toilets are available which are kindly  looked after by the local  residents.  Sunderland Point

The Heysham Coast. The 8th century St Patrick’s Chapel is popular with photographers with views across to Black Combe and Grange over Sands, there are a few ruins remaining including the famous stone ‘open graves’ which were features on a Black Sabbath album cover. Adjacent is St Peter’s Church, Heysham, a church building has…

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