Lambeth: Living with the cuts is a long-term photographic and journalistic investigation into how central Government cuts to benefits, services and local council budgets are affecting people living in the London borough of Lambeth – my home for the last 22 years.

Since 2015 I’ve been working with people and organisations across the borough, including Brixton Advice Centre, Norwood and Brixton Foodbank, South London Refugee Association, Ace of Clubs, Carers’ Hub Lambeth and Mosaic Clubhouse. This project tells the stories of both the organisations and the vulnerable people they help.

If you’d like to get in touch and share your experiences of living with austerity in Lambeth, you can email me at or find me on Twitter @jameshopkirk and on Instagram @SouthLondonStories.

All words and pictures on this blog are by James Hopkirk, except where otherwise credited.

About James Hopkirk

I’ve been working as a journalist for 18 years. I began my career as a local newspaper reporter in Kent before moving to The Sunday Times, then to MTV, ITV and spent six years as Editor of IdeasTap. As a freelancer, I’ve produced photo stories around the world, from Afghanistan to Somalia, Haiti to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For the last two years I’ve focused my attention much closer to home, however. This project is about understanding the problems people are facing as a result of cutbacks right where I live, and sharing as much of what I discover as possible.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from working on this project so far, it’s that the impact of the cuts has been disproportionately felt by the poorest and most vulnerable people in Lambeth. What has also become very clear to me is that all but the very wealthiest members of our society are in reality just a few missing pay slips, a bereavement or a  diagnosis from the poverty line – no matter how remote we might like to think it is.

What I’ve seen time and time again is just how quickly things can fall apart – and that’s something I think more people need to understand.