I was recently contacted by the UK Charity Sense to photograph the winner of their Person of the Year award.
The awards are part of a campaign to raise awareness about how disabled people have been impacted by the pandemic.
This years well deserved winner was Eric, a very lovely deaf blind man who lives in Salford with his partner, Charlie. Sense asked me to get some images and also record a short video of Eric talking a little about the award, and what it means to him.
As we made our way towards a local park to capture Eric in the gorgeous autumnal sun, I was reminded about how much I take my mobility and senses for granted. Not only is Eric deafblind, but Charlie is in a wheelchair. On the short walk to the park, we had to navigate bins completely obstructing the pavement, vehicles parked on the pavement in such a way that Charlie couldn’t get past them, (most of the kerbs had no dropkerb either) and a lack of tactile paving.
What should have been a five minute stroll, was a twenty minute walk, and I frequently had to lift Charlie up kerbs and walk in front of them both in the middle of the road as we navigated these obstacles. I don’t know how the pair of them manage such things normally, but evidently they too often have to.
I left the shoot not only delighted to have met these two genuinely lovely human beings, but with a fresh desire to highlight the difficulties faced by people like Eric and Charlie, and a respect for the work carried out by Sense.
I encourage you to check out their work and support their campaigns at www.sense.org.uk
And huge congratulations again to Eric. I’ll see you and Charlie at the studio soon for a brew!
A little about Sense
Sense is a charity that helps people living with complex disabilities, such as Deafblind people. Sense are there to help people communicate and experience the world, and believe that regardless of the complexity of their disabilities, nobody should be left out, isolated or unable to fulfil their potential.