Local photographers help with special Christmas gifts

Two local photographers spent a day ‘snapping’ away to help create special memories for those families whose children have life limiting complex needs.

Calvin Taylor Lee and Alex Collingwood worked with Scunthorpe hospital’s official charity, the Health Tree Foundation (HTF), to provide a special photo shoot for local families.

Calvin, of One Click photographer, initially got in touch with the hospital’s complex needs specialist nurse Beverley Chesman as he wanted to donate toys for children in the run up to Christmas.

However, after speaking to some of the family Beverley suggested a photo shoot instead. She said: “The idea suddenly grew with Calvin, and then Alex from Simplicity photographer offering their time, expertise and photos for free.

“The day allowed for families to create some precious memories with their children which have been captured forever. These families often face daily challenges but they always do it with smiles on their faces. This was a lovely Christmas present for them to cherish.”

The HTF arranged a photo shoot earlier this month at Messingham’s Grange Park and a total of three families grabbed the opportunity to have their photos taken. They were all presented with their photos in wooden frames.

Nicola Mendrek whose son Joel suffers from spinal muscular atrophy type 1 said: “To be able to have a family photo shoot together at Christmas is fantastic. I have been given a memory that I will cherish for a lifetime. We were unable to get transport to the venue so the team visited us in our home environment which meant the world that we were still able to have this done.”

Nicola Brown and Kris Rounce’s baby girl Ella-Rae, was born with a rare syndrome which affects her brain and her coordination. They said: “We thought Christmas was going to be a no go this year as we spend so much time in hospital. But thanks to this we started to feel a bit more festive especially as we now have such a lovely keepsake picture of all the children together.”

Jade Robinson son Jaik suffered a bleed on his brain when he was eight-years-old. She said: “To be invited to go along to have a photo taken of the family was wonderful. It is the first professional picture of my children I have taken so it was a wonderful gift and means the world to me.”

Calvin said: “When Beverley asked about photos instead of toys I jumped at the chance and straight away asked Alex to help as she specialises in newborn photography.

“To be able to give a little of our time to help give families create memories that will last a lifetime is priceless.”

HTF community champion Hayley Thompson said: “I would like to thank Calvin and Alex for offering their time and to the community for providing the frames. It really does mean the world to our families to have these special memories which will last a lifetime. To see their faces light up when they were handed their pictures was priceless.”

The charity hopes to set up more photo shoots for families in 2019. If you would like to help support this, please contact Hayley on 03033 305672 or email: hayley.thompson3@nhs.net.

If you are a journalist and require further information contact the communications and marketing team on 03033 302528 or via nlg-tr.comms@nhs.net