A gallery of striking documentary photographs has opened in a disused toilet at Emmaus Salford.

Salford’s Smallest Gallery was officially opened in Wednesday 30 August by Salford MP Rebecca Long Bailey. Visitors to Emmaus Salford’s Community Homestore in Pendleton can now explore the gallery’s first exhibition of behind the scenes images showing life at the Salford charity.

Rebecca Long Bailey, MP for Salford and Eccles, said: “The quirky gallery space is amazing and the first exhibition is a great celebration of the people and spirit of Emmaus Salford. I would like to congratulate all those involved in the project and the companions at Emmaus who are providing a fantastic resource for the residents of Salford.”

The gallery was conceived by documentary photographer Tom Hopkins in collaboration with Emmaus companions – formerly homeless people supported by Emmaus Salford. Rochdale born photographer Tom spent six months embedded at Emmaus Salford. He got to know the people who have made the community their home and the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Tom Hopkins, documentary photographer, said: “In this project I aim to shed an honest and positive light on people breaking the cycle of homelessness. The images in the gallery tell the story of an inspirational community working together to build a better life for themselves. I feel very humbled to be accepted into their community and look forward to future workshops where I can empower them to share their stories through photography.”

Jenni, companion at Emmaus Salford, said: “Tom has done fantastic work in photographing the true Emmaus Salford spirit. Not only has he captured community life but the companion’s lives and their personalities along with their contributions to the community. Tom also shows that our community isn’t complete nor perfect but yet we work together to improve our lives and community life despite any problems that may arise. It’s been a pleasure to have Tom with us and to be able to see the many different sides of Emmaus Salford.”

Emmaus Salford currently supports 20 formerly homeless people by providing them with a stable home, meaningful work and support for as long as they need it. The charity operates two social enterprises on Fitzwarren Street and Seaford Road in Salford, selling great quality donated and upcycled furniture, household goods and vintage wares.

Simon Locke, Community Leader at Emmaus Salford, said: “Tom has captured some great shots of our community – people who are living and working together to transform their own lives whilst making a difference in the local community. We are very excited to open this new space at our community building and look forward to future exhibitions that people can enjoy.”

Salford’s Smallest Gallery opened on 30 August at Emmaus House, 101 Fitzwarren Street, Pendleton, Salford M6 5RQ. The first exhibition, ‘A Place To Call Home’ by Tom Hopkins, will run for the next three months.

To support Emmaus Salford, head to www.emmaus.org.uk/salford. If you would like to get involved or donate an item, please call 0161 737 8279 or visit one of the shops.