Making a design difference for the homeless

The next time you pass the medieval magnificence of Manchester Cathedral take a closer look at the small building on the Victoria Street side of its main entrance. Beside its large wooden door you’ll see a small brass plaque. Now take a closer look and you’ll find The Booth Centre.

This is exactly how Photolink designer Lee Henderson discovered the centre on a recent walkabout. Luckily he wasn’t in the same unenviable position of the men and women who rely on the centre for a combination of practical and emotional support every day, but he was in a position to help.

Founded in 1995, the Booth Centre is an independent charity providing a safe and welcoming environment for people who are homeless. It was runner-up in the National Day Centre of the Year award and was given Champion status by the department of Communities and Local Government in recognition of its pioneering work to reduce the number of rough sleepers in the city (thanks to initiatives such as the Manchester Sleepout).

Moved by the impressive scale of operations and an immensely important commitment to Manchester’s homeless that at odds with its size, Lee asked if they needed any creative help to spread the word.

They did, so a chance encounter led to Lee working alongside other volunteers at the charity to reinvigorate the brand identity and bring coherence to important communications, not least the clarity of its annual reports, which are essential in broadcasting to politicians and the public the essential triumphs of the centre throughout the year.

Lee is currently working on the next annual report and Photolink artwork supremo Ian Butler is volunteering his photography skills to help illustrate. Nice work chaps – great work The Booth Centre.

Imogen Gee

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