Photographer recognised by Prime Minister
A photographer has been given a special award from the Prime Minister for her charity work helping children with life-shortening conditions.
Liz Wood from, Kings Hill, Great Cornard, along with Samira Magrabi from Bournemouth, are the latest recipients of a Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers,
The pair were recognised for their work setting up the The Butterfly Wishes Network.
The charity recruits photographers who donate their time and services to families of children who have life-shortening conditions, offering them a free photography session and license-free images afterwards.
For many families of sick children, a photo-shoot to preserve memories of their short lives is an unaffordable luxury, but a session with Butterfly Wishes, in any location that is meaningful for them, creates images they can treasure forever.
The pair, both professional photographers, founded the Butterfly Wishes Network in 2013, with a group of like-minded photographers, with no idea whether it would work.
The not-for-profit organisation quickly grew into a network of 285 photographers across the UK.
Mrs Wood, 45, and her co-founder are the 285th and 286th winners of the award which has been developed in partnership with the Points of Light programme in the USA.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “With the Butterfly Wishes Network Liz and Samira have harnessed the generosity of a fantastic number of photographers to give their services for free and create beautiful photos families can treasure forever.
“I hope this Points of Light Award will help them to recruit more photographers and provide this small piece of comfort to even more families.”
Mrs Wood added: “We originally spoke to an inspiring charity in the US, who suggested we set up our own network in this country. After speaking to Samira and a group of 10 other photographers we decided to appeal for photographers, and were stunned that so many, so quickly came on board.
“Without a doubt, the network would not work without each and every volunteer in it. I am truly humbled to be a part of this amazing group of photographers who are willing to give so much and our amazing admin team.
“For Butterflies to be recognized is wonderful, and hopefully we will attract more photographers to our network through this recognition.”