The idea behind the project was to capture a snapshot in time of what it is like to live in Swaythling today. In the early days of Swaythling the area was largely populated by white working class members of society, with many residents having moved from the Victorian slums in the centre of the City to this green, leafy suburb.
Over the years, however, there has been a lot of change in Swaythling and the area is a vastly different place.
We wanted to hear from those who live and work in the area today about their experience of life here – hearing from as diverse a group as possible: Those who have lived their whole lives in the area; those who have just moved to the area; people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds; people of different ages, with different family make ups, and different economic and social status.
All those that participated had a series of informal photos taken whilst being interviewed about their lives in the area – what they like and dislike about being here, major changes that have taken place, fondest memories, what they feel the greatest needs and challenges are and what they foresee for the future of the area.
The comments made during the interviews have been collated together and common themes drawn out – it is this that has informed and shaped the written content of the book that is being produced. Our aim, which hopefully has been achieved, was to reveal the breadth and diversity of life experience in this small area, giving an insight into the many challenges and needs being faced by many, at the same time as illustrating the spirit and beauty of the people who live here and the strength and resources available within the community to overcome difficulty and create a positive future for all who call Swaythling home.