The next phase of Beyond Work will see me going back to the place that I grew up to observe, photograph and unearth the needs of people there now. I want to see what it is like to be embarking in the world of work, to be looking for work or be in a job in a place that’s been unfairly stigmatised over the years. It turns out that if you are a man living in Whitehawk, your life expectancy drops by ten years compared to living in the centre of Brighton. That needs to change.
Moreover, once I have done my observing and research, I am going to set up an alternative Job Centre. The alternative Job Centre will be very different to the one you find in the back alleys of the UK right now. It will take a long-term approach to work life instead of just being interested in getting people off benefits.
It will look to unearth latent talent in people and support them to make the most of that talent, and it will consider well-being, fulfilment, health, family life, dreams and other things outside of work.
It will look at all the new possibilities in the world of work that at the moment might be reserved for people with different backgrounds. And it will bring together a bunch of artists, mentors and teachers to inspire and make this happen.
I know it sounds slightly utopian at the moment, and it is early days for the project, but it is important for me to use the kind of work I do for good and to make some changes in areas that need it. Work and life are better when there is diversity, it opens up perspectives, challenges pre-conceived ideas and creates opportunities for amazing new things to happen.
I'm planning an R&D phase at the moment and am looking for help. I'm looking for people who are good at working out how to fund and make a project like this sustainable. I'm looking for a writer that has a background in Whitehawk, Bristol Estate and Manor Farm in Brighton. I'm looking for local businesses in Brighton that want to help me harness future local talent. If you think you can help with any of this, please get in touch.