What is it like to be sixteen years old in the UK now? This is the central thread running through the national project Sixteen where some of the UK’s foremost documentary portrait photographers collaborated in opening up conversations with young people about their hopes and fears, and who or what sustains them, giving prominence to voices rarely heard.

I focused my lens on Cornwall, drawn by an interest to explore how the economic poverty and physical isolation of the county impacts on the future of its young people. I worked in the areas of Camborne, Falmouth, Penzance and Treneere.

I felt privileged by the connection formed with my subjects, their families and guardians who generously shared their stories, the social and family structures and the domestic surroundings within. Having access in this way enabled me to understand the social challenges that were previously hidden. With thanks to Trelya, Treneere, The Dracaena Centre, Falmouth and all the participants for helping to achieve this work.

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