Sunderland: Hidden Stories – a photography project celebrating grassroots activists





This project was developed by photographer Hollie Dearing and ran alongside the Sunderland Journey to Justice programme. It tells the story of 10 people working in Sunderland to promote justice, equality and well-being within their work.

“After graduating with a photography degree from Sunderland University and taking part in a series of volunteer projects myself, I had the pleasure of meeting so many amazing individuals here who inspire me to try and better the world for others. This project is a celebration of them. It tells their stories and aims to show people that small acts of kindness have the biggest impact and everyone has the capacity within them to make a difference

Hollie Dearing
A black man stands leaning against the stone base of a statue outside a football ground. The base stone reads 'Bob Stokoe 1930-2004 Sunderland AFC Manager'
Etor volunteers with Friends of the Drop-In, supporting refugees & asylum seekers.
© Hollie Dearing

The project would not have been possible without the help and support Hollie received. 

She would like to thank:

Tunde, Jackie, Abdul, Helmut, Marcia, Jacky, Chris, Etor, Alan and the rest of the SPOG (Sunderland Prostate Oncology Group) team, Ram and the team at Young Asian Voices for telling me their stories and allowing me to photograph them.

The Journey to Justice Sunderland Steering Group for their support throughout the project.

Lindsey and Carrie for always being at the other end of an email.

John and the rest of The Bridges team for allowing me to exhibit the work here.

The Photography team from Sunderland University

And finally to our funders, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Celebrate at The Big Lottery and to everyone who made a donation to Journey to Justice.

A white woman sits at a busy looking desk with a window to the right hand side.
Jackie works for local government in the People Directorate focusing on combatting homelessness and reducing social isolation.
© Hollie Dearing
An Asian man wearing a short and waistcoat sits at a desk with a computer screen glowing in the background
Ram works to ensure equality of opportunity for all in his community.
© Hollie Dearing

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