Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Black History Month: Sheffield exhibition celebrates diversity

Delroy Image copyright South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue/Orestes S Rix
Image caption Station manager Delroy's father came to the UK from Jamaica in the 1960s and served three years in the British Army

A fire service hopes the next generation of firefighters will be inspired by its photography exhibition for Black History Month.

The exhibition features portrait photographs of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue staff with African and Caribbean heritage.

They were shot by Orestes Rix, a member of the finance team who specialises in photography outside his day job.

The exhibition will tour Sheffield this month.

Delroy Galloway helped organise the exhibition, called Family, as well as being photographed.

He said: "People with African and Caribbean backgrounds are currently underrepresented within the fire service nationally.

"We aim to change that through projects such as this one, as well as shine a light on some very deserving colleagues."

Kevin Image copyright South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue/Orestes S Rix
Image caption Before becoming a firefighter, Kevin was once a hairdresser, winning junior hair stylist of the year in 1987
Gemma Image copyright South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue/Orestes S Rix
Image caption E-learning coordinator Gemma said: "I am proudly of Jamaican descent and owe my family everything I have achieved"

The exhibition features 11 pictures of employees past and present, ranging from retired firefighters to support staff.

The images have been printed on to foam boards and will be showcased on easels as they travel round the city.

Helen Image copyright South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue/Orestes S Rix
Image caption Helen, an administrator with the technical services team, said her parents came to Sheffield in the 1950s to start a new life
Aayon Image copyright South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue/Orestes S Rix
Image caption Firefighter Aayon attended a "have a go day" and never looked back

Deputy chief fire officer Alex Johnson said: "The exhibition is about recognising staff of the past, and present, and inspiring the next generation of firefighters, as we strive to ensure our workforce fully reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.

"Anyone can be anything in the fire service - regardless of their background."

You may also be interested in:

Meryan Image copyright South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue/Orestes S Rix
Image caption Meryan's father's side of the family is Jamaican and his mother's side Scottish, he said: "I have been brought up with strong links to my culture and to always remember my roots"
Presentational grey line

Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to yorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk.