iPlymouth Charity Calendar raises £6,000

Last year, the iPlymouth Photography Group on Flickr united with the South West Mesothelioma Support Group to produce a 2016 charity calendar to raise funds and spread awareness, whilst at the same time remembering all those who have lost their lives to asbestos related cancer mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases.

The calendar focused on the issue of asbestos in UK schools and featured Christopher Wallace who believes he developed peritoneal mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos as a schoolboy in South Molton Devon.

Local companies generously sponsored the venture which meant that every penny raised went to charity. Specialist asbestos solicitors Wolferstans sponsored all printing costs, Redrok undertook the printing and donated promotional banners and Martin Luck Group donated envelopes. Calendars were sold at The London Camera Exchange, Plymouth Pannier Market and Saltash Community Market.

iPlymouth member and Plymouth University cartographer Jamie Quinn who designed and produced the calendar for free in his spare time said;

"Once again it is great to combine showcasing the extraordinary talent from local amateur photographers whilst helping raise money for such a worthy charity. The calendar goes from strength to strength, and thanks to the sponsors covering the production costs, our biggest problem is trying to raise the bar every year in terms of image quality and the number of calendar sales - but what a great problem to have!"

Glorious images of Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall were donated by iPlymouth members with Janice Black providing a beautiful shot of The Royal Albert Bridge for the front cover. Eric McDonald, whose stunning image ‘Wembury Milky Way’ featured for October said;

"I joined iPlymouth about five years ago and got involved in helping with the calendar when Dad, Percy McDonald, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011. Up until Dad’s diagnosis I was not familiar with this disease, or how deadly it is. He died in 2014, while fighting to get recognition for the cause of his industrial injury through the courts. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court leading to a Landmark Judgement, setting a precedent which will help any similar victims in the future. Helping with the calendar means I can give back something useful in memory of Dad, and hopefully raise money and awareness of this disease which will still affect a lot of the people of Plymouth for years to come."

A total of 1000 calendars were sold with £6000 being raised. iPlymouth members and Dean Cruickshanks (Head of Wolferstans Asbestos Team), presented a cheque to Lung Cancer/Mesothelioma Specialist Nurse Sarah Earl and support group member Wally Wright at The Brook Inn on 16 January 2016.

Dean Cruickshanks said;

"Wolferstans are proud and honoured to support the South West Mesothelioma Support Group. The work the charity carries out is inspirational and admirable. Many of our clients attend the support meetings and they find talking and sharing with others that have been through similar experiences invaluable."

Sarah Earl said;

"The calendar does a great deal to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos and this means a lot to the support group. We would like to thank Jamie for all his hard work. It is obvious from the quality of the calendar that a huge amount of effort was put into producing it. Everyone involved should be very proud of such a fabulous achievement. Thanks also to our sponsors, those people who helped with sales and of course, everyone who purchased a calendar. Of course, we are also extremely grateful to the iPlymouth members who kindly donated their beautiful photos. £6000 is an amazing amount to have raised and it will go a long way in supporting patients and their families with Mesothelioma."

The iPlymouth Group on Flickr is open to anybody with an interest in Plymouth and its surroundings. It is a place to upload photos, share them with the group and have discussions about anything and everything. There are monthly breakfast meetings at The Brook Inn and online competitions are held. Anyone interested can register at Flickr.com and search for iPlymouth to find the group.