Highlighting Hulme’s Local Heroes

How urban food growth is helping local communities to combat climate change

The story behind this project

The purpose of this project is to highlight the importance of equitable sustainability in urban areas around Manchester. I chose to shed light on this topic through a series of photographs and an audio story as I am extremely passionate about making sustainability accessible to people from all walks of life- this is because I grew up in a working-class household where I often felt that a sustainable lifestyle was not accessible to me due to a lack of sustainable resources.

Hulme Community Garden Centre is a perfect example of how urban sustainability greatly benefits local communities as they grow organic produce and plants on site which are then sold to the public for affordable prices.

As well as introducing sustainable, locally-grown organic produce to an urban inner-city area like Hulme, Hulme Community Garden Centre heavily encourages community work and offers opportunities for people from deprived backgrounds to gain skills and lead a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. I believe that this is incredibly important as it not only combats climate change and benefits the environment but it also improves the lifestyles of local communities. Here are the key things that Hulme Community Garden Centre achieves for the local community.

  • Locally grown organic produce and plants
  • Brings local communities together through gardening
  • Promote horticulture and sustainability to local communities

I believe that by making sustainability accessible to everyone regardless of their race, gender, age or class, we can combat climate change once and for all.

We are responsible for taking actions against climate change to improve the environment for future generations.

Climate change may not have begun with our generation but it must end with us.

Hulme Community Garden Centre is the perfect embodiment of how important urban sustainability is to local communities, not only does it combat climate change but it also provides an accessible approach to sustainability. Hulme’s local heroes are a driving force in this community and their work is changing both the environment and the lives of local communities for the better.

The entrance of Hulme Community Garden Centre is the establishing image because I feel that it symbolises the beginning of the photographic journey that I intend to take the audience on. As a photographer, I feel that this image represents the beginning of a journey to lead a more environmentally conscious lifestyle and tackle climate change. I attempted to make this image look as vibrant as possible to convey feelings of optimism and hope. The sign that reads ‘Hulme Community Garden Centre’ is overshadowed by the trees and greenery that surrounds it and this implies that the environment has a larger impact on our lives than we think.

I felt that it was essential to capture this close-up shot of this compost box that reads ‘Grow your own grub’ because it symbolises one of the main messages that my project is illustrating which is how local Mancunians are combatting climate change. I found the contrasting vividity of the greenery against the monochrome wood to be visually striking as it represents the contrast of the nature of the garden centre to the urbanisation of Hulme.


This image portrays some of the organic produce that is available for purchase at Hulme Community Garden Centre, the striking green colour of the fruit’s leaves connote feelings of growth, naturalism and health. The message that this image communicates is that the produce of urban food growth contributes to a healthier lifestyle and it is kinder to the environment.

This image, which has also been used as the header image, is a close up of the herbs grown at Hulme Community Garden Centre. This is a gentle image which evokes feelings of tranquillity and nature.

This image displays two of Hulme Community Garden Centre’s regular volunteers, Iris and Katie. I often refer to these volunteers as ‘Hulme’s local heroes’ as they are selfless individuals who are committed to bringing the local community together to tackle climate change. The message of this image is that there is optimism and hope for the future in regard to combatting climate change.

This image captures the social aspect of urban food growth with volunteers, Rob and George. This image portrays ordinary people with a passion for sustainability and the environment, this shows that urban food growth is bigger than just tackling climate change, it’s also about bringing local communities together regardless of their background.