*Names have been changed
Liam has been working with Future Pathways. His Support Coordinator is called Alex, and when they met for the first time, Alex made Liam feel comfortable straight away. It has been difficult at times because they could not meet in person, but they have continued to work well together.
Liam says: “From the start he had such a nice way about him. He let me lead the discussion. He tried to home in on what I was needing. He was on the ball. I couldn’t have gotten any better.” Alex and Liam chatted about their interests, and Liam said that he was interested in photography. Having retired recently, he was keen to spend more time taking photographs, and to get better at it.
Alex and Liam looked into some options, and Future Pathways supported Liam to do an Open University course in photography. Liam learned a lot from the course and was awarded a ‘Distinction’. Future Pathways also paid for a new camera lens, which enabled Liam to experiment with different photography techniques.
Above: a selection of Liam’s photographs
One day, Liam received an email from his council that talked about a local photography project. The email asked for ideas about what subjects the project should cover, so Liam wrote back and suggested that it could focus on ageism. This is a subject that’s very important to Liam. He says: “Stories about older people are often extreme. I wanted the project to explore the normal things, like how older people often have the time to explore their interests because they are retired.”
The council agreed to Liam’s suggestion, and asked him to show his photographs in local community spaces. Liam is delighted about this, as he really cares about making art accessible to local people. He also hopes that, in his words, his photographs will “plant a wee seed” of the idea that older people should not be pigeonholed.