Easington Colliery was once a bustling place where life revolved around the coal mine. It closed in 1993 and the economy, like many similar communities in the north-east, was plunged into a cataclysmic decline.
Mass unemployment, substance abuse and poverty are rife. Many feel abandoned by those in power, their voices unheard.
Photographer MARY TURNER tells the story of this fragile community, in pictures of fear and despair – but also of hope, love and family.
In homes, social centres, church halls and pubs, people are determined to build a better place despite the odds that are stacked against them.
This article is part of The Mirror’s Town 2020 series, shining a light on deprived and marginalised communities such as Easington Colliery.
We called this project Town 2020 because we want the next decade to be a time of change. A decade of austerity has left many parts of the UK in crisis. It’s time for that to end.