A Nottingham photographer has been raising funds for a mental health charity by taking photographs of her community in lockdown.
Kay Rodgers, a 32-year-old events manager from Sherwood, has been raising money for Mind, the mental health charity, during Mental Health Awareness Week.
Her fundraising efforts were not initially intentional, but rather came about as a result of the popularity of photos she published in a local community group on the social media platform Facebook.
Kay spoke to CBJ News, detailing her motivation for taking the photos, the story she believes they tell, and her experience of the coronavirus lockdown.
The motivation behind Kay’s photographs
For Kay, the lockdown is a great excuse to get out and about in the community on her daily exercise.
She said: “As a photographer there’s a lack of things to shoot at the moment, but like everyone I’ve been walking around my local area every day when I can.
“I was noticing all of these interesting things going on on people’s doorsteps, in people’s driveways, and I just wanted to capture that.”
The story of the photographs
Not everyone is having the same experience in the lockdown that we’re all party to.
Kay said: “I think they tell that, even though we’re all going through the same thing, we’re all having a slightly different experience of what is happening at the moment.
“I’ve met people who have had babies during lockdown, people who are working night shifts, people who are working in care homes, trying to homeschool their kids, working from home, not working at all, absolutely everything.”
Kay’s favourite picture
It was not easy for Kay to pick her favourite photograph from the set.
She said: “I think my favourite is probably the lady who is in the doorstep with the two pints of milk.
“She is actually one of my neighbours who I had never spoken to before this.
“I think that says what the whole project is about for me, just kind of getting to know your community and what’s going on on your doorstep.”
How she got into photography
It may be a traumatic time for many of us, but many are keen not to forget what we are going through.
Kay said: “I picked up a DSLR a few years ago because I thought I may as well get something a bit more advanced.
“I loved capturing things I saw but mainly just taking pictures of people really.
“It’s been interesting, everyone wants a reminder of this weird time we’re in.”
Kay’s experience of lockdown
Many people cannot stand being in lockdown, but Kay looks at the positives.
She said: “I have actually quite enjoyed it; I think I’m probably quite unique in that sense.
“I enjoy everything being a bit slower, it’s helped me get to know my neighbours and people in the community more.”
How the photos turned into a mental health fundraiser
Starting a fundraiser was not the original purpose of the post.
Kay said: “I had such a good response from the initial Facebook post that I decided to turn it into a bit of a fundraiser for Mind the charity, who I think are amazing.
“At the moment there are so many people stuck inside and on their own who might be struggling with their mental health and might need a bit more support.”
Kay is offering photos to anyone who gets in touch with her until the end of this month (May 31).
In return, she asks that you make a small donation to Mind, the mental health charity.