A hard-hitting charity calendar aims to show the brutal reality of what it’s like for rough sleepers in Leeds.

An image by Nigel Tooby for Simon on the Streets.
An image by Nigel Tooby for Simon on the Streets.
Have your say

Rough sleeping caught on camera in Leeds

The dark images by Wakefield photographer Nigel Tooby capture some of the struggles homeless people might face, such as loneliness and drug abuse.

Money raised from the sale of the calendars will go to local homeless charity Simon on the Streets.

Nigel said: “I wanted to push the boundaries and really get into the mind-set of someone who was living rough on the streets.”

He added: “My work can be controversial as I like to see things very literally, but I felt that this could be used to my advantage, and by picturing life through the eyes of the subject I could share a very serious message.”

The photos will also feature in an upcoming exhibition called Eye Spy.

The exhibit will be launched on Friday, October 3 at the Workhouse Gallery on Cold Bath Road in Harrogate.

Nigel added: “Even I found some of the compositions difficult. Looking back now it still makes me sit back and shiver.”

Meanwhile, 200 people have also been taking to the streets to show their support for the local cause.

The huge group took part in the charity’s annual rough sleeping event last week, raising a record-breaking £18,000.

General Manager of Simon on the Streets, Helen Beachell, said: “It’s a real show of support to give up your bed for a night and commit to the experience.

“Whilst it’s impossible to accurately re-create the feelings of vulnerability and despair that sleeping rough every night can create, we’ve found that the sponsored sleep out is a real eye-opener for anyone who takes part.

“Our team were there to give advice about how to build a shelter and keep your possessions safe, sharing their own experiences of sleeping rough.”

This year the sleep-out was held at The Royal Armouries.

Simon on the Streets aims to offer individual support to those who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, have behavioural and mental health issues and who are struggling with an addiction.

To find out more or to make a donation to the charity, visit the website at www.sleepwithsimon.co.uk.

For more about the exhibition, visit nigeltooby.co.uk.

Jess Carmichael.

Leeds artist helps stray dogs