Photographers raise £1,000 for Sheffield Mind in doorstep portrait fundraiser

A group of photographers have collected over £1,000 for Sheffield Mind by taking portraits of isolated families in the S8 area of the city.

By Frederick Webb
Monday, 11th May 2020, 3:34 pm
Joanna Skorokhod and her family
Joanna Skorokhod and her family

Paul Reeve, who runs Affordable Events Photography, started taking the snapshots a day after the lockdown started, cycling round his neighbourhood and taking free photos of residents in their back gardens or on their doorsteps.

Mr Reeve said he is amazed at the positivity and generosity of everyone he has met, who have helped fundraise for a charity close to his heart.

He said: “I’m more amazed at the generosity of people than I am proud of the money raised.

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Collages of families

“To have fundraised £1000 and taken hundreds of shots, it is a bit surreal for my little business.”

Since the beginning, Paul and two other photographers – Jake Feeney and Barton Chase – have taken nearly 750 family and alternative school photos, while adhering to social distancing rules by taking photos from 15ft away.

Mr Reeve said the reaction to the project has been phenomenal and the community has rallied together, after the fundraiser reached the landmark on Friday afternoon.

He said: “The reaction has been amazing; everyone has been so supportive. I’ve had hundreds of messages sent to me that have been so kind.

Collages of families

“I thought the doorstep project would be a good idea as it people get a nice family photo, it keeps me busy and raises money for charity.”

The fundraiser has gone viral on local Facebook groups, with posts being liked and shared hundreds of times.

Joanna Skorokhod, who lives in Beauchief, said it was great to finally get their first family photo, 16 months after her son Aleksande was born.

She said: “It’s a brilliant project. Offering photos to families in our area is a great keepsake, as it is a reminder of the strange times were living in and how our community came together to raise money for a good cause.”

Sheffield Mind have had to cancel many face-to-face events due to the lockdown, and according to a statement, has received a drop in fundraising and awareness.

Despite these setbacks, the charity said they are “open for business” and will continue to support the local community.

A spokesman said: “We have been extremely pleased with the way people have responded to this creative and positive means of bringing the lockdown community together.

“People have been incredibly generous in what for many is a very worrying time financially.”

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