At Ferring Country Centre, we plan and provide activities and facilities for our Day Service Customers depending on their needs and interests, they are at the heart  of everything we do. So, about 6 months ago, a weekly photography club was started for those expressing an interest.

‘Out and About’ - The group explored around Ferring Country Centre and the local area taking photographs. The images were not edited by the leaders, such as cropping or straightening. It was felt important to present the images exactly as the photographer saw the scene. Their perception of the world creatively captured, validated and celebrated. The club members did learn some basic editing techniques, such as making the image black and white, but then the end effect was decided by them.

The work was so good that Jackie Taylor Miller (Education and Outreach assistant Manager) approached Mike and Lucy at Pier Road Coffee and Art in Littlehampton, to see whether they would exhibit the photographs in their shop. They said that they would be delighted to and kindly offered to charge less commission on any items sold.

So, on Tuesday 28th February, the photographers, guests and staff  were invited to a special private viewing at the Pier Road Coffee and Art shop. The beautiful images were displayed in black and white frames on the wall, just to the left, as we entered the shop. They looked as equally professional as all the other artwork being exhibited in the shop, which they were nestled amongst. It was a lovely evening of drinks, nibbles and admiring the artwork.

There was great excitement as Ricky sold the first photograph of the evening. It was a stunning photo of a pair of swans. Another four photographs were then sold. Emily Matthews, photography group leader, felt incredibly proud. 'The money will be fed back into the club where new equipment such as tripods and software will be bought, to make their learning experience even better,’ she explained.

The next day, the group went back to visit the gallery, for those that were unable to attend the special viewing. When Carly learned that another two images had been sold, one of which was hers, she felt emotional. It was because Jackie had explained to her that her view on the world had been valued. Someone liked what she had seen and captured and wanted it on their wall! What an incredible boost!

To hear Jackie and Emily talking about Ferring Country Centre on a podcast with Mike, the owner of Pier Road Coffee and Art, please press this link

The photos will be on display for the month of March, so why not go and have a look for yourself?