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Everyday 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 1st November, 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 the Ambassador Programme I felt it important I get involved. For some time now I have been aware of the incredible work of Readycall Macmillan who provide befriending support to people aged sixty and over, living in the Derbyshire Dales.

 
For my #selfieless contribution I wanted to use my connection with Canon 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 Ashbourne have made more than 3500 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 twenty 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.

 

Picture: Lit entirely by the light from an iPad. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D MKIV with a 35mm f/1.4 II USM; the exposure was 1/400sec at f/2.0, ISO 6400 Left: Evie Sadler 16, teaching Helen Knight how to use an iPad. Evie started the programme at the beginning of 2016. ‘Meeting older people and getting to know them has been hugely rewarding and enlightening’ Right: Helen Knight 80. The visits provide vital company and support for people like Helen who live alone ‘This is my second year in the programme and each student brings something new to the relationship and as well as learning new skills we share life experience and learn from each other. Without Redycall I would have no connection with the younger generation.’