These London Bedrooms Tell Heartbreaking Stories

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 6 months ago

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These London Bedrooms Tell Heartbreaking Stories
Antousha (5), Gabriela (4) and Moses (1), share a two-bedroom flat with their parents, Beatrice and George. The family receives benefits but neither George nor Beatrice, a trained nurse, can work. They are in debt from court fees and depend on charity support.

Photographer Katie Wilson has been visiting and capturing the places where some of London's most disadvantaged children sleep. Each photograph tells a story that had remained unseen until now. Seeing bedding squeezed under the stairs next to a washing machine and hearing how difficult life is for mothers who are former sex slaves is heartbreaking.

The full set of photographs is on display at The Foundling Museum. This is just a small selection of those in the show. The images without a human presence are almost ghostly, much like how these children must feel with most Londoners not knowing how they live.

The exhibition is accompanied by a report by The Childhood Trust on how London's housing crisis is affecting some of the most vulnerable Londoners.

9-month-old Adam sleeps with mum Emily and dad Martin in the living room with sister Patricia (10), brothers Bradley (6) and Harry (3). The family of six also eat here.
Nadine (17), Crystal (16), Peter (15) and Simone (9) live with mum and dad in a two-bedroom flat. The children share one room and spend their leisure time here, between studying and helping mum to tidy the flat.
Rory (6) and his sister Vanessa (2) live in temporary accommodation. Their mother, Zainab washes their clothes in the shower and stores food on the bathroom shelves.
Newborn Jane lives in a small bedsit with her mother Amelie. There’s nowhere safe to cook. There are no other families in the hostel. Jane and Amelie have to endure nightly parties, late night rows and chronic substance abuse from their neighbours.
Edward (4) and mum Genavieve live in a one-room hostel where they have been for nearly a year.
Christopher (4) and Simon (2) are always at home with mum, Sainey. Sainey was trafficked to London as a domestic slave. Now free, she can’t afford clothes for her growing children.

Bedrooms of London is on at The Foundling Museum until 5 May 2019. Tickets are £10 for adults and include access to the full museum.

Last Updated 11 February 2019