Bringing the community together through photography
Back in 2018, Karin Evangelides, support worker at Grassland Hasmoor Big Local (GHBL) in Derbyshire, set up and ran an amateur photography competition. Here, Karin explains how she adapted the project during lockdown and found a way to bring people together and celebrate the local area.
2020 has been an unusual year. As a Big Local we have endeavoured to keep projects going by finding alternative ways of doing things. Luckily, a photography competition can be organised and managed online.
The competition is now in its third year. Each year our competition attracts local amateur photographers who submit photographs of our two communities. Grassmoor is an ex- mining village and Hasland is a suburb of Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Our communities are uniquely different but share an eagerness to promote and improve their area.
Autumn rainbow in Eastwood park
One significant thing to bear in mind when running such a long competition is that people need regular reminders. Social media has been the best way for us to keep the competition alive and in people’s mind up to closing date.
A photography competition is one way of creating a sense of place and provides our local residents with an opportunity to showcase their skills”.
We did have concerns that COVID-19 would reduce the amount of competition entries we would receive and with days to go entries were minimal. Everyone waited till the last minute to email across their photos. By the closing date we had received 54 fantastic photo entries.
Autumn leaves in Hasland
Judging took place in a socially distanced way. Our judges booked time slots to come to the centre and view the photographs before making their decisions. Instead of an Awards ceremony that was booked to take place on 22 September 2020 we informed the winners on the day followed by an announcement of the results on Facebook and GHBL website. Prizes of Love to Shop vouchers were delivered to the winners by hand.
Our Public Vote took place on Facebook and by email with over 60 votes cast.
Last of the Winter sun
All our photo entries are included in a calendar and 2021 calendar was printed and given free to our competition entrants and local business. Copies were also offered locally for a donation.
COVID-19 has curtailed many Christmas events where we would normally distribute our calendars so we printed only half of our usual total. All 100 have gone and donations have been exceedingly generous.
We hope that 2021 will be a much better year for us all. The 2021 competition has already begun and the theme is ‘Grassland Hasmoor – COVID in Colour’. Despite the challenges of this time, there is still beauty to be found in the world around us.