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1st Jul, 2022

Mental health focus of Stratford photography students

MENTAL health is the focus for Stratford photography students.

The Charlie Waller Trust – a charity which promotes understanding and open discussion about mental health – has invited Stratford College students to help create promotional materials to raise awareness of its work.

The trust wanted images for its marketing campaigns and learning materials but, rather than use stock images, decided they wanted their photos to be created and produced by young people.

So Sarah Ashworth, director of schools and families mental health at the charity, approached the college to ask the students to help.

Sarah gave a mental wellbeing presentation which provided an overview of the trust and explained the importance of looking after mental health.

The students then scored areas of their life out of ten to see how balanced their life was alongside work and study.

Sarah said: “These types of activities, where the students can see their lives in ‘raw data’, are really helpful. It allows you to see areas that need more time and attention and some that need less. If I had my way this would be more than important than reading, writing and arithmetic. Something we need in our life is a good relationship with ourselves, as we can only be good to others if we can be good to ourselves.”

A task followed to create photos reflecting a variety of emotions, both positive and negative. The pieces were judged on composition, technical expertise as well as creativity and relevance to the brief.

Oli Salmon was named winner with Hollie Laycock and Johny Taylor runners up.

Oli said: “It’s reassuring to see something that I put effort into has won something! It’s also great it’s for such a good cause.”

Hollie added: “I enjoy portrait work and being creative, I put a lot of time and effort into it and liked how we explored details about mental health that aren’t talked about.”

The students’ photos will be used across the Charlie Waller Trust.

Sophie added: “It’s these types of credits that really make our students stand out from others.

“They finish college with a CV showing they have worked with so many clients – it really gives them a great professional set up.”

Visit www.charliewaller.org for more information.

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