After sharing some of our favourite entries over the past few days, we are thrilled to announce the three winning photographs of our first ever community photo competition.
We have been so excited to be able to see a snapshot of the work that is carried out by voluntary groups and charities all over Devon to support our communities. As a cheerleader and supporter of these examples of life-changing activities we have been honoured too, to be able to celebrate it and share some of the stories of the groups behind the pictures.
Thank you to everyone who took part and sorry we can’t mention you all! Judging the competition was an incredibly hard task and we’d also like to thank our three judges who toiled over their decisions until late into the night!
Rainy Trip to Dartington
Group: The Creativity Centre Educational Trust (CCET) – CCET
Photographer: Dr Marilyn Fryer
The judges have selected this as the DCF competition winner as it has with it an acute sense of a moment captured in time. Although the ladies appear to have been seated this way for the purpose of a group photograph, everything else about it is entirely natural and honest. This is felt by the way the ladies’ attention is not focussed on the photographer but on each other- their conversations have been captured mid-flow, and the judges found themselves imagining what the they were talking about, what they were thinking and subsequently unpicking some of the many possible and wonderful stories being told within the image. The judges really felt the value that each lady placed on each other and on the occasion, told by the interactions, the activity, the emotion and the life in the picture, and that, they felt, is what community is all about.
Technical notes: This image has been taken in bad weather however, it is technically strong. The composition is balanced and subjects are sharp and exposed well despite the uneven light caused by overhead umbrellas!
The Creativity Centre Educational Trust enable disadvantaged people in South Devon to creatively overcome problems and challenges. Their work includes a Creating Your Future course for unemployed people and a Good Neighbours Project for isolated older people.
The group told us:
“This is a photo of some of our charity participants enjoying a trip to Dartington in August 2019 to tour the gardens there. Volunteer garden tour guide, Rosemary Griggs, led our group around these beautiful gardens. As well as pointing out plants of special interest, Rosemary gave us a fascinating account of the history of Dartington and its gardens.
Dr Marilyn Fryer took this photo and is amazed that it turned out so well. She was thrilled to receive this award on behalf of the charity. She says the prize money will be used for the benefit of CCET’s participants and will discuss with them what form this will take. It will include a special celebratory event as soon as everyone is able to come together again.
‘Thank you Devon Community Foundation, not just for this award but also for all the wonderful work you do!’
Group: Torbay Community Development Trust
Photographer: Beccy Strong
The judges were struck by the beauty of this image, finding it reminiscent of a renaissance painting. The competition guidelines were to seek out a celebration of community, and this is something they believe has been achieved with this photo, if only once you look deeper into what is happening within it, which is what they felt ultimately compelled to do. They found a story of a lone, faceless, nameless woman consumed in a task that – gleaned from the mass of items surrounding her, is selfless, long and tiring. Our judges made comment that this photo could be a powerful metaphor for the many other individuals behind the groups DCF support, who work tirelessly for others but are for the most part, invisible. This photo has allowed the woman and all she stands for to be revealed and elevated – a sentiment that is only further strengthened by her pool of almost celestial light.
Technical notes. A great use of natural light.
Torbay Community Development Trust exists to support and promote charitable organisations in and around Torbay. During lockdown they used their network to help provide a centralised hub of support to the Torbay community that included a helpline that offered advice, support and befriending and from which they also coordinated practical support too such as shopping and prescription collection and delivery service, food deliveries from foodbanks, dog-walking etc.
During this time TCDT worked with a local photography graduate, Beccy Strong, who documented some of their work and captured this volunteer packing sanitary products and food items for those left vulnerable by the pandemic.
“Donations come from individuals, food suppliers and local businesses. Fulfilling the daily shortfall is a fragile and complex operation, dependant on continued financial donations.
Community centres, offices, unused church buildings and village halls are now the unexpected home to this growing front line.”
And TCDT reacted to the news:
“That’s a lovely surprise! Thanks so much! Great news!”
Mens cookery class
Group: Totnes Caring
Photographer: Chantelle Norton
The judges chose this image as their third-place winner because of an intuitive sense of the unexpected that they gleaned from it. Without wishing to surrender to a stereotype, they found great joy in seeing this group so deeply engaged in an activity not automatically associated with their gender and age. The judges felt the connection, both across the participants themselves and from each to their task, could not have occurred without the drive of community behind it – an idea they believe, is seconded by the subtle smile on the nearest subject’s face. The judges enjoyed too the detail of the photograph- the matching colours and the apples on the table cloth – wondering, could they be a clue to what is being created?
Technical notes: The diagonal composition is effective, leading the eye down the line of subjects.
Totnes Caring provide services to vulnerable, predominately older people, living in and around Totnes, supporting them to live independent lives free of isolation and loneliness.
They told us:
“Thanks so much for the good news!
The photo was taken in during a meeting of the men’s cookery group, a partnership between Totnes Caring and Food In Community. Each month about six Totnes Caring clients, all older men who were living on their own, did a couple of hours of cooking with Food In Community followed by a lunch enjoying the fruits of their labour. The feedback was that they all really liked the companionship – there was a lot of laughter! – and good food. They found FiC, ‘very helpful, cheery and fun’.
While we are not able to run these classes at this time, Totnes Caring does continue to support the men, as appropriate. David, for example (seated centre) is receiving hot lunch deliveries and our home help service.
We will use the money for future work with Food In Community.”
Congratulations to all of our winners who received £1,000, £500 & £250 respectively for their groups.
Our other Top Picks
Image: Smiles for Miles – Adaptive Surfing Wave Project
Submitted by: The Wave Project
Caption: Millie catches waves at Bigbury-on-sea on a special adapted board made in North Devon for The Wave Project.
Submitted by: Torbay Women’s Circle
Caption: Torbay women gathering in circle sharing stories supporting each other
Submitted by: Totnes Caring
Caption: Clients enjoying exercising at the Totnes Caring memory café
Submitted by: 1st Crediton Scout Group
Caption: Enjoying Group Camp ‘at home’ – Scouting didn’t stop for lockdown!
Image: CCET Christmas Wreath Making Fun
Submitted by:The Creativity Centre Educational Trust
Caption: Some of our charity’s participants showing the Christmas wreaths they have just made
Submitted by: BASICS Devon
Caption: Rural Response – a shot featuring some of our volunteers on Dartmoor
Submitted by: Tri-Hards Exmouth
Caption: Bringing people of all ages and abilities together to build friendships and exercise.
Congratulations to all of the submissions featured and thank you to all who took part!