The area around London's Kings Cross with its squeaky clean plazas, shops and restaurants has been developed beyond all recognition in recent years. But now an outdoor exhibition is offering a reminder of the less fortunate communities living in the surrounding borough of Camden as well as drawing attention to those who have gone out of their way to help them in this most challenging of years.
The 12 Heroes of Camden (until 5 January) consists of 12 large-scale portraits of local individuals along with their personal stories taken by the local photographer Aaron Hettey. Selected by the independent charity Camden Giving, each image of a local hero highlights their acts of everyday kindness.
Albert McEyeson, the founder of Action Youth Boxing Intervention has been teaching boxing and cognitive behavioural therapy to support children and families in the borough, while Vanessa Browne, the founder of Sankofa Storytelling Arts and Shyanne Sorolla, who works for the youth charity Small Green Shoots, have used arts and culture to help those in need. Others have been running community centres, distributing food hampers, supplying bikes, managing youth programmes and offering educational and emotional support.
The photographs are displayed on specially designed 2m-wide benches dotted throughout the open spaces of Kings Cross and stand as testament to those who have made a difference to the borough. But what is especially good is that there is also an on-the-spot opportunity for viewers to do their bit. Donation points are positioned throughout the site to raise funds to continue the good work. Whilst the heroes themselves represent different charitable endeavours, all proceeds raised through the fundraising campaign will go directly to Camden Giving. Their panel of local people will then award and distribute funds to organisations and individuals across the borough, ensuring the greatest benefit for the community.