PhotoAid Global is the UK based photography service that connects photographers to charities and NGOs both here in the UK and abroad, and also curates exhibitions to drive awareness and revenue for good causes.
Workaid, winner of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, tackles poverty by providing disadvantaged people with the tools they need to learn a skilled trade and earn a living. Since 1986, Workaid has helped around 100,000 disadvantaged people to break the cycle of poverty and build better lives for themselves and their families.
How did the partnership come about?
Dr Vanessa Champion is founder of PhotoAid and lives in Tring in Hertfordshire, she was looking for someone to fix up the old cameras that PhotoAid receives as donations. Mutual friends recommended she contact Workaid, based in neighbouring Chesham. One brainstorming meeting later with Rob Levine, chairman of Workaid, a partnership was forged.
“It’s great to form partnerships with organisations we have real synergies with and PhotoAid is definitely one of those.” Said Rob Levine. “At Workaid we are updating our website and social media presence; arresting and exciting photos are a critical part of that. When we connected with Vanessa it was clear that she had just the sort of skills and connections to help us down that path. Brilliantly, she is also building our own capabilities so that we are enabled to take better photos ourselves and can take advantage of opportunities whenever they arise. Ultimately all this will help us to attract more donors and volunteers, and give more meaningful and engaging feedback to those we already have.”
“I am so pleased to be partnering and supporting Workaid, their ethics and energy match ours,” said Vanessa. “We are running training workshops with their staff so they can take their own photos for website and social media collateral, plus running a ‘Volunteer’s Voice’, ‘If Tools could talk’, and hopefully helping to document the projects they are doing actually on the ground in Africa. Also Workaid are kindly storing the cameras people donate to us in their warehouse and helping to ship them to Africa for us. Note, that we also distribute our recycled cameras here in the UK and Europe.”
One of PhotoAid’s main photographers is David Newton, known to many in the photography world. David teaches extensively for Canon and also presents for SanDisk, Manfrotto and Lastolite, giving presentations and workshops all over the world. He, along with Ness, is running the first workshop at Workaid.
“In my work I spend a lot of time ‘taking’ pictures. The whole language around photography is in taking or capturing something, but there is very little giving. PhotoAid, and the partnership with Workaid, offers me the opportunity to give something back instead.”
PhotoAid is heading out to India in April for the charity, Born to be Beautiful. Later in the year we are also curating an exhibition of photography in the UK from the children of Ana by Karma, a charity based in Bhutan.
If you have old cameras, would like to be part of PhotoAid as a photographer, supporter or other capacity, or can donate time to fix up old cameras do get in touch with Vanessa at PhotoAid firstname.lastname@example.org “We all have something to give, and it’s like kick-starting positive karma, you give a little and buckets of goodness come back to you in return. Thanks to everyone in the industry who is supporting us, it means a lot.”