The Creating Sustainable Futures project, which brought marginalised young people from the borough together with Edge Hill academics and a variety of Wigan-based social enterprises, has been exploring ideas of community wealth-building and some of the possibilities that social enterprises might offer in furthering these topics.
This project was a collaboration between Edge Hill University, Wigan Council and the local social enterprises Wigan and Leigh Community Charity, Made in Wigan, Embrace Wigan and Leigh, Happy Smiles Training and Made in WN8. It also had input from the Centre for Local Economic Strategies.
Participants used photography to create a photo story in the form of a digital magazine encompassing their lives and experiences of work, community and their hopes for the future.
The group – who come from a variety of cultural backgrounds, some with physical disabilities, some neurodivergent – discussed their photographs at the event and how they represent barriers they face and their hopes of overcoming them.
Dr Victoria Foster, associate director of Edge Hill’s Institute for Social Responsibility, which funded the project, said: “We’re all so proud of what the group have achieved and the findings have been thought-provoking.
"It’s been an absolute pleasure to give a voice to this group of young people and hear their innovative ideas on how to bring down the barriers that prevent them from achieving their goals.”