As part of Charity Bank’s Follow The Money campaign, to show the difference you can make simply by saving with an ethical bank, photographer Lucy will visit over 30 charities and social enterprises across the UK.
Lucy, welcome to the Charity Bank team! Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up working in photography.
Thank you! This is actually my second career. I used to work as a probation officer in Southwark but photography was always something I’d been interested in. Then, about 5 years ago, I got my first SLR camera and was hooked. I started posting images on social media and was getting such a positive response that eventually I took the leap and decided to pursue it as a career. It was a big change, but it’s been such a massive adventure and I’m loving every moment of it.
You’re currently studying for your Masters in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at Westminster University – is this the type of photography you prefer?
I love any photography that gives me the chance to tell a story. Everybody’s got a story and there’s a real authenticity to documentary photography that allows you to capture this in an honest and respectful way. It’s an honour to be invited into people’s lives. We often go through life not really connecting and photography, for me, is a way to try and open up those human links again.
What was it that interested you in this Charity Bank project?
It’s pretty much my dream job! Getting to visit so many different places and waking up in a new place each day is so energising and exciting. Also getting to see first-hand some of the amazing initiatives that Charity Bank supports with its savers’ money will be such a great experience.
My favourite thing about photography is how it allows me to really engage with communities and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in all these different places and projects. I’ll be spending time in such a wide variety of places, ranging from a skate park to a hydroelectric plant to a community tea room. When else can you say that about your working week?
What’s your main aspiration for this project?
I want people to be on the journey with me, to see and experience things they perhaps wouldn’t get the chance to otherwise. To effectively communicate different lives and perspectives is what photography is all about. There are so many positive things happening out there, but we rarely get a chance to celebrate or showcase them. I’d love my photos to help raise awareness of the inspirational work being done by the charities and social enterprises Charity Bank supports and show how by saving with an ethical bank your savings can make a real difference.
Have you done anything like this before?
Not quite like this, no! I’m going to be visiting around 35 different organisations over just one month so it’s quite a unique project. I feel so lucky though. It’s a massive privilege to be a part of this.
Is there anything you think could prove challenging during your Follow the Money tour?
As excited as I am about the prospect of visiting so many new places, it’s going to be quite a full month with a lot of driving, sleeping away from home and late-night editing. Also, spending so much time alone without anyone I know will be a new experience. Although, even these small challenges are something to look forward to as it’s always good to push yourself and exist outside of your comfort zone for a while.
Which place are you most looking forward to?
There are so many but one that has really caught my eye so far is the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust in the Outer Hebrides. I’ve never been there before so that in itself is exciting, and I can already picture how interesting the photos could be in that setting. In fact, I’m looking forward to all the places I’m visiting in Scotland. My dad’s from Scotland but I haven’t had the chance to spend much time up there before.
Are there any other organisations that you’re particularly interested to see?
One of the first organisation I’m visiting, Cosgarne Hall down in Cornwall, provides support and accommodation for homeless people in the area. This is something I’m naturally interested in as in my previous job as a probation officer I worked a fair amount with people who were socially excluded in this and other ways. I think it will be interesting for me to see it from a different perspective and to take some positive photos that will hopefully help to promote this important work.
Also the Half Moon Theatre, which supports the creative development of young people down the road from where I live in East London. It will be nice to photograph something in my local community.