One of my own personal photography goals that I set myself for 2012 was to use my skills to ‘give back’ somehow. So when I met the the lovely Mady Hatton from Disability Challengers and she talked about what they do, I instinctively knew that I would like to work with them and donate some time and skills.
Disability Challengers are an Independent Childrens Charity that deliver projects across Surrey and provide safe and inspiring places for disabled children and young people to play, make friends and have fun. Aside from the fact that they are an AMAZING local charity, I particularly love the fact that they use the power of play to help children, something that I also feel strongly about. Play is so important for children – it helps them learn and grow and allows their imaginations to fly!
I also knew that my approach and style of photography would work well within their environment – because I work in a very relaxed way and capture images naturally, the children do not have to ‘perform’ or ‘sit still’, they can just be themselves whilst I interact with them.
I was invited to spend a morning at their Farnham Centre, with their preschool group, which is an inclusive playgroup for both disabled and non-disabled children. It was a delight to be there and observe the children having fun, playing together, and interacting with the wonderful, dedicated staff.
It made my day to receive this email from Mady when the staff saw the images: “Thank you so so much for these! They are absolutely incredible, everyone here has been glued to them since you sent them! I can’t tell you how useful they’re going to be to us, as you’ll know photos engage people more than text and words ever does. I’m really pleased you enjoyed seeing the pre-school in action, as you probably guessed we’re pretty proud of it so it’s lovely when people really get what we’re trying to achieve.”
There are so many amazing organisations out there that are striving to make a difference and I am really proud to be a small part of one of them now. If you would like to find out more about Disability Challengers and perhaps how you can help them, take a look at their website : www.disability-challengers.org.
I am very much looking forward to working with them again in the future. It really is a special place and I hope that these images have captured a little bit of this for you to see.