50 years, 50 portraits, 16+ Exhibitions

If Not Now, When? Touring Photography Exhibition

With experience in the inclusive design sector, and our aim to really try to make a difference with the work we do, we’re very excited to announce the new exhibition project we’ve been brought on board to do PR for.

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Meet Michael Whelan, a multi-award winning photographer who, in the past 18 months, has travelled across the UK taking photographs of the attendees at the charity, Contact The Elderly‘s, tea-parties. (Read about the charity further down.)

Michael and his team, including Louise Turner from We Are Flock, have developed this project idea to commemorate the charity’s 50th Jubilee to visually represent their mission and have produced a series 50 portraits to commemorate 50 years. “We will hope to change opinions on loneliness and social isolation by using photography as a form of long-lasting positive communication”, says Michael.

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The inspiration for this project came from a news interview featuring Trevor Lyttleton, the founder and chairman of Contact The Elderly discussing the importance of recognising and tackling loneliness and social isolation amongst the elderly.

“The body of work has been developed out of consideration of how to visually represent loneliness. By exploring this dark emotion in such a way, this is a fresh approach at tackling the taboo of loneliness. I want to produce this to raise awareness and give an insight to feeling socially isolated. ” he explains.

This has culminated in a hard-back book, a touring exhibition and a newspaper that will be distributed throughout local communities in key public spaces.

So far the projects successes include gaining funding from the Arts Council England and Waltham Forest Council, as well as securing various exhibition spaces at venues throughout the UK – 16 in fact!

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You’ll be hearing a lot more soon! This dedicated and passionate project will be well worth a visit, so please check back in regularly for updates!

About the charity

Contact the Elderly is the only national charity solely dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people. 

Supported by a network of volunteers, the charity organises monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people, aged 75 and over, who live alone. Offering a regular and vital friendship link every month.

Each older person is collected from their home by a volunteer driver and taken to a volunteer host’s home for the afternoon. The group is warmly welcomed by a different host each month, but the drivers remain the same which means that over the months and years, acquaintances turn into friends and loneliness is replaced by companionship.

Our tea parties are a real lifeline of friendship for our older guests who have little or no contact with family or friends. They bring people of all ages together, develop fulfilling friendships and support networks, and give everyone involved something to look forward to each month.

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