I met twenty year old Daniel Barnham (above) on an assignment to the Gurnos estate in Methyr Tydfil for the Times. The Gurnos is a large sprawling housing estate, one of the biggest in Europe. Established in the early 1950s, expanded over many years and notorious in the UK for a reputation of deprivation and crime.
My work has taken me to the Gurnos three times in the last five years and the council's attempts within that time to improve the appearance of the estate are clear to see. The famously grim pebble dash grey council houses common across South Wales are slowly being repainted with brighter more inviting colours. The rolls of barbed wire have been replaced with inconspicuous anti-climb paint and there's a visible increase in the number of youth centers and community projects based on the estate.
One of the community projects is the Merthyr Cynon food bank set up by Cleide Correia (above). The foodbank depends entirely on charitable donations and is an emergency food supply for those in desperate need. I photographed Cleide in the communal room of one of the food banks centrally positioned on the estate. She spoke at length of the many seemingly insurmountable problems faced by the residents of the Gurnos. It's difficult not to leave with the impression that despite the surface improvements to the estate the deeper issues of unemployment, crime, job prospects and long term ill health are suffocating the estate and will not be releasing the stranglehold over residents anytime soon.