Betel UK is an independent Christian charity for men, women and families affected by the hardships that lead to social exclusion, especially homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse and long-term unemployment.
"Our end goal is to help people not only escape addiction, but become productive, trustworthy men and women of character when they leave our community."
The 'Rising Cafe' in Lincoln is run by previously homeless and substance-addicted men and women from Betel. 100% of proceeds go directly towards funding their recovery. As a regular at the cafe, I began to get to know these individuals and felt compelled to celebrate them. I started by creating portraits of them all.
Everyone was elated with their personalized portraits, as the word spread, an influx of requests came into my inbox! Intrinsically motivated to continue this and my passion for visual storytelling made me believe this could be something great. Once the collection had expanded to thirty portraits, I decided to showcase them in an exclusive workshop held within the a café. The staff made and prepared food for us all, we socialised, ate and shared intimate stories with eachother.
Each participant then graced the portraits with intimate inscriptions—etching personal anecdotes and reflections in their handwriting. What emerged was more than an art exhibit; it was an enigmatic masterpiece encapsulating the essence of their collective journey.