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Ambassadors Programme

Explorer

Clive Booth

Dec16

#Selfieless Young People

By Clive Booth, Friday December 16, 2016
Evie Sadler, 16, teaching Helen Knight how to use an iPad. Evie comments: "Meeting older people and getting to know them has been rewarding and enlightening." Helen Knight, 80, (right) says: "We share life experience and learn from each other. Without Readycall I would have no connection with the younger generation." Taken on an EOS 5D Mark IV with an EF35mm f/1.4L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/400sec at f/2, ISO 6400. Lit by iPad.

Evie Sadler, 16, teaching Helen Knight how to use an iPad. Evie comments: "Meeting older people and getting to know them has been rewarding and enlightening." Helen Knight, 80, (right) says: "We share life experience and learn from each other. Without Readycall I would have no connection with the younger generation." Taken on an EOS 5D Mark IV with an EF35mm f/1.4L II USM lens; the exposure was 1/400sec at f/2, ISO 6400. Lit by iPad. © Clive Booth

Every day there are 93 million selfies taken worldwide and as Christmas is a time for giving, shouldn’t we be thinking about others and not ourselves? This is exactly what the Canon #selfieless Christmas campaign is all about. Canon Europe is on a mission this festive season to get people everywhere to turn their cameras around from themselves to others and carry out a #selfieless act of kindness. A #selfieless act is all about doing something selfless for someone else. Big or small, it doesn’t matter, it’s the thought that counts.

On November 1st, the festive campaign was launched and Canon Europe started the #selfieless campaign off by donating one million Euros to the Red Cross. At the same time challenging their colleagues to get involved and help people around them – whether it’s volunteering, donating, or simply reaching out to someone who needs a little help.

My connection with Canon spans nearly a decade and as I am fortunate enough to be part of its Ambassador Programme for photographers and filmmakers I felt it important to get involved.

For some time now I have been aware of the incredible work of Readycall Macmillan who provide befriending support to people aged 60 and over, living in the Derbyshire Dales. For my #selfieless contribution I wanted to use my connection with Canon UK and Europe and point my camera at and raise awareness to the Readycall intergenerational project and post blogs, use social media and hopefully encourage the local newspaper to publish the story.

Since its launch in 2002 local sixth form volunteers from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Ashbourne, UK, have made more than 3,500 visits to older clients giving practical help, support and most importantly much-needed company. This project is both unique to my area and Macmillan nationally and this year alone between 20-30 students visited ten older people for between 30-40 minutes each week. In 2016 20 young people signed up to volunteer for the project and the programme is already oversubscribed for 2017 with more young volunteers than there are spaces available.

For my part the simple act of taking a picture and writing a blog post has made me far more aware of these selfless acts of kindness that are taking place often right before our eyes and yet we are for the most part completely oblivious to them. These young people are leading by example and in our busy day to day lives we can so easily forget about those far less fortunate than ourselves. It’s both inspiring and humbling and whilst what they do is most definitely selfless they would be the first to admit how much they have gained from the experience.