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Blog | neighbourly

What can be done about sandwiches - one of our highest wasting products?

sandwich2

When John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, an 18th-century English aristocrat, ordered his valet to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread, so he could continue playing cards, he couldn’t have known what a hit his invention was going to be. Not only did his fellow card players order “the same as Sandwich”, but today that enthusiasm has grown to Britons consuming a staggering three and a half billion sandwiches a year, made by 300,000 people employed in the sandwich industry in the UK.

However, sandwiches are one of our highest wasting products, because of the unpredictable demand from all of us consumers, depending on what the weather is like or what filling we fancy on the day. Estimates put the amount of wastage at around 5%. My maths puts that at seven and a half million uneaten sandwiches.

Some retailers, like Pret A Manger have taken action, handing out their uneaten stock at the end of each day to people who need them, and Greggs filling solidarity fridges. These solutions point us in the right direction, but they’re not always suitable for retailers, for example those where ‘food on the go’ is only part of their offer.  And sandwiches are a particularly difficult item to manage.  Their short shelf lives and need to be kept chilled to make sure they are safe to eat, means that they have to move fast or go to waste. 

What can be done? Last year, Neighbourly co-hosted an industry seminar with the Food Foundation and the Food Standards Agency to find ways to manage this problem, looking at issues such as best before dates. It complemented similar work by the FSA and the British Sandwich and Food on the Go Association to look at the issue of sandwiches in particular.

Recently, new guidance has been given to sandwich retailers that allows them to test for safety in store. This could save up to 2000 tonnes, or about 280 double decker buses filled with sandwiches, from going to waste.  If we take the opportunity to drive this into common practice, it could have the transformational impact that the familiar Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive has had on environmental collection, treatment, recovery, recycling and disposal of electrical and electronic equipment.  Working together to champion the issue, we can spark a movement where retailers not just entertain this issue but take on the challenge with more confidence. 

But that’s not the end of the story. As Jim Winship, Director of the British Sandwich and Food on the Go Association says “retailers and the charities they support will now need to establish the practical means to deliver surplus foods to those who need them.”

And that’s where Neighbourly comes in. Our unique platform sends alerts from retailers to matched local charities with food hygiene training, to take food to a huge range of people who need it, from children’s breakfast clubs, to hospices, to homeless shelters. We give retailers a more scaleable, traceable solution, with exportable, shareable data. 

And we can complement the good intentions of retailers with opportunities to engage communities and support food charities delivering the vital work of surplus redistribution.  Charities can use our volunteering function to get the people they need and gain financial and in-kind support through our innovative campaigns like #FundAFridge (recently supported by Lidl UK).

Having enough good food to eat and making sure we don’t waste all those marvellous sandwiches is a bread and butter issue.  Thankfully we now have both the safety guidance and the way of connecting surplus to be able to waste less and feed more people.


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can donate time, money or surplus. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

For charities that need surplus food email: food@neighbourly.com

For businesses that would like to donate surplus food email: hello@neighbourly.com

Sign up to be part of the Neighbourly network here.

Steve Haines

Head of Community Engagement

Feb 7, 2017

Lidl partners with Neighbourly on national roll-out to redistribute up to 2 million meals a year

lidl_surplus

I’m delighted to reveal that Lidl UK has announced the launch of their national food redistribution programme and support of #FundAFridge in partnership with Neighbourly. This will see all Lidl stores across England, Scotland and Wales donating food surplus to local food charities helping to feed people in need, equalling up to 2 million meals a year.

This national rollout follows a highly successful eight-week pilot that helped to feed more than 3,400 people across community centres, elderly day care centres, housing support projects and children’s centres in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Our food team will be linking each Lidl store, region by region, with partner charities that will be able to collect edible food surplus directly from the stores each day. The first 100 stores will be fully active by the end of April 2017, with remaining stores joining the programme throughout the year and into early 2018.

Alongside this commitment Lidl is the first retailer to sign up to our #FundAFridge campaign, donating over 100 fridges and freezers to projects that struggle with storage for the food donations that they receive. This will help improve their ability to safely store donated food, increase their capacity to sustainably manage more surplus and in turn, provide more meals for those who need them.

For us though, the most exciting part of this partnership is not just about Lidl’s adoption of a model aiming to change how the supermarket industry deals with the redistribution of surplus, but a step towards a more holistic solution for community partners – which is long overdue. As well as matching Lidl with local food projects, and campaigns like #FundAFridge, Neighbourly will be working to attract volunteers to help redistribute food surplus on a daily basis, reducing transportation costs for the projects taking part.

Our thanks go to the Lidl head office and project team that worked on the pilot and have helped to get this programme off the ground. Have a watch of this video from the Scunthorpe pilot to find out more about the impact the scheme is having on local communities.

Email lidl@neighbourly.com to register your food project.

Sign up to be part of the Neighbourly network here.

If you'd like to donate surplus food please get in touch at hello@neighbourly.com


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can donate time, money or surplus. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

Nick Davies

Founder

Jan 24, 2017

Food waste recipes: Potato Lasagna

potato_lasagne

Ah, lasagna – the hearty staple that we love. This Italian dish is extremely versatile and you’ll probably find that everyone you know has a different take on it (all equally delicious!) The great news is that it naturally incorporates some of the ingredients we waste the most, and can easily be adapted to chuck in a few more.

 

According to River Cottage, milk and cheese are two of the top five most wasted foods, with us Brits pouring 5.9 million glasses of milk down the drain each year, along with more than three million slices of cheese a day! These two ingredients happen to be perfect for a tasty cheese sauce.

 

Why not trade an extra trip to the supermarket to pick up fresh pasta sheets for the potatoes you have already? We chuck 5.8 million spuds each year – they feature in the top five, and I bet you have some lurking in your fridge. The great thing about veggie lasagnas is that you can please your meat-free friends while chucking in whatever lonely veg you’ve got lying around. Feel free to substitute to suit.

 

We also throw away an eye-watering one billion tomatoes every year. Why not make a fresh sauce rather than reaching for the can? Perfect if you grow them, or are overrun with them!

 

Altogether, it’s a perfect waste-busting dish. This recipe uses basic ingredients that you’re more likely to have around than having to buy in specially.

 

Ingredients

2 aubergines, cut into chunks

1 large courgette, cut into chunks

1 yellow or red pepper, cut into chunks

1 tbsp olive oil

1.4kg of potatoes, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper

        

Tomato Sauce:

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp dried basil

1 dried bay leaf

1.8kg red tomatoes, chopped

 

Cheese sauce: 

300ml semi skimmed milk

25g plain flour

15g unsalted butter

75g cheese, grated

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas mark 6), or 180°C for a fan oven. Put the aubergine, courgette and pepper into a large roasting tin and coat in olive oil. Roast until tender, or for about 25 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and cook the onions and garlic, stirring often. Once soft, add the basil, bay leaves and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf. Turn off the heat.

 

Stir the veg into the pasta sauce. Tip a third of the mixture into a large rectangular baking dish. Arrange a layer of sliced potatoes on top, Repeat the layers, finishing with potatoes.

 

Heat the milk, flour and butter in a saucepan. Whisk constantly until the sauce boils and thickens. Remove from the hob and stir in half the cheese until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the cheese sauce over your lasagna and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake until golden brown, or for about 30-35 minutes.

 

Bon appetit!

 

Lasagna recipe adapted from:

http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/find-recipes/recipes/meat-free/five-a-day-veggie-cheddar-lasagne

 

Tomato sauce recipe from:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alexandra-guarnaschelli/old-school-lasagna-with-bolognese-sauce-recipe.html

 

About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can donate time, money or surplus. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.


Jane

Content Manager

Jan 17, 2017

Businesses unite in a bid to make the UK economy ‘fit for the future’ by backing sustainable development

Image

In an open letter to the Prime Minister published today, more than 80 leading companies, including Neighbourly, have united in a call on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals* (SDGs).

Ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting taking place on 17-20 January, businesses say they are ready to work with the Government to help deliver the SDGs in the UK as well as internationally, but that the Government must create a framework to help businesses play their part.

The letter, co-ordinated by UK Stakeholders in Sustainable Development (UKSSD), is being published on the day that the Business and Sustainable Development Commission publishes its own flagship report on the business case for achieving sustainable and inclusive growth, and quantifying the value of private sector opportunities aligned with the SDGs.

At Neighbourly we absolutely know that today's great companies don't just want to contribute - they're ready to collaborate and build a powerful coalition for change but need the support of government and citizens to help unlock society's true potential. So it's wonderful to see such an emphatic demonstration of a desire to work in partnership using the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for success.

I believe the UK Government should seize this opportunity to work with business to help shape an inclusive community action plan that works for all. We look forward to working with this inspiring network of businesses, NGOs and academics to advance sustainable development and help facilitate the delivery of the SDGs in the UK. Read more about the steering group here.


Nick Davies

Founder

Jan 16, 2017

How to be happier and healthier in 2017

happy_volunteer

The New Year is a wonderful opportunity to think about how we can make life better for ourselves and do things differently. But conventional resolutions are often about restraint, and countless, sadly, fall flat on their face.

What if I told you there was another way to be happier and healthier this New Year, and no diet or cross-training machine is required? In fact, this activity is scientifically proven to make your life better in a number of ways without costing a dime.

What is it? Volunteering.

More than just an altruistic glow and the satisfaction of helping others, volunteering actually gives a lot back to the one doing the helping.

It turns out that from your physical health and happiness levels to improving your career prospects, volunteering is very worthwhile if you want to make life better!

Let’s examine the benefits in greater detail, and how much volunteering you should do to reap the rewards.


Why should I volunteer?

A great bod

Those that volunteer are good hearted in more ways than one. This research showed that people who volunteered regularly were less likely to develop high blood pressure over four years than those who didn’t volunteer. Volunteers were also more likely to use preventative health care services like cholesterol checks and flu shots. Better yet, a sense of purpose, that you feel with volunteering, is linked with better heart health.

 

Quality of life

This sense of purpose, as mentioned above, is helped in no small part by increased social connections. We now know that loneliness is as bad for your health as smoking. Connecting with your community and staying active all make life a little better.

 

Emotional health 

Whether it’s connecting with another person or working with animals, the social aspect of volunteering can reduce stress, anxiety and depression – all of which can contribute to positive physical health. It’s a virtuous circle.

 

Happiness 

Heard of the “helper’s high” or “giver’s glow”? Helping others gives us a generous helping of happy chemical dopamine in the brain. Of people that volunteered weekly, 16% felt “very happy” – that’s a hike in happiness comparable to a salary of $75,000–$100,000 rather than $20,000 (say the researchers!)

 

Making friends

Gathering around a shared activity with like-minded people is the perfect spark for making friends. Volunteering can help you improve your social skills and expand your connections. It’s worth knowing that little else matches the happiness we get from friendship.

 

More time

One of the reasons you might not volunteer is due to time constraints, yet paradoxically, volunteers who give their time often feel like they have more of it – in the same way that people who give to charity often feel like they’re wealthier. Strange but true.

 

Career benefits 

Businesses look more favourably on your CV if you have voluntary experience – it shows that you’re a hard worker, and keen to acquire knowledge and skills. For those considering a career leap, volunteering can provide a taster and a chance to get some experience under your belt.

 

How often should I volunteer?

So, how much should you volunteer to reap all these benefits? First of all, you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you’re volunteering for a cause you actually care about. Try searching on Neighbourly’s volunteering board for an activity you’re interested in.

Weekly volunteers enjoy the biggest hike in happiness – with 16% of those that did feeling “very happy”. People who volunteered monthly and every two to four weeks rose their odds of being very happy by 7% and 12% respectively.

 

But you don’t have to make volunteering a very regular thing to enjoy the benefits. In fact, there’s a certain sweet spot to volunteering – just 2-3 hours a week – after which the benefits no longer stack up the more you do. If you did indeed volunteer 100 hours in 2017, you can expect a boost in your self-esteem, happiness and satisfaction a year later.

Good luck!


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

Jane

Content Manager

Jan 10, 2017

How to write a compelling project story

typing

Once upon a time, a charity like yours decided to set up a profile on Neighbourly.

What is it about storytelling that grabs our attention? Well, we’ve been telling stories for thousands of years; they’re more memorable than facts, activate more of our brains and make us twice as generous when it comes to donating.

So it begs the question – are you telling a story about your charity, and if so, what story are you telling?

When businesses and potential supporters arrive at your project page, they’ll probably head straight for your description to understand exactly what your organisation (or project) is about. This could be the make or break moment when they try to determine whether your cause is something that they want to align with.

You could probably write pages and pages about your organisation and the background of your project, but writing a compelling project story means distilling it down to its essence. Here are some ideas on engaging supporters with your organisation's story.

 

Why should people support you?

As someone close to your charity, you can probably think of plenty of reasons why people should support your organisation. Start by noting these down, as this will help tell your story.

 

Consider starting off with a specific anecdote

There’s a reason why many public speakers kick off with a personal anecdote – as humans, we’re wired to hear them! It also helps us to relate to and empathise with a scenario. For example, a story of someone suffering from homelessness might begin with redundancy, divorce or other negative life event that could happen to anyone.

 

What story would you like to tell?

You might depict a fictional person that represents your ‘average’ service user, or a real person that experienced true transformation thanks to your organisation. Perhaps that person is a volunteer, or you might want to explore the story of how your group came to fruition. Regardless of what story you choose, make it feel personal - your supporters are influenced more by their emotions than rationality.

 

How to tell a story

Traditionally, the story arc is a three-act structure: setup, confrontation and resolution. A good way to break that down is to introduce your character, a challenge they need to overcome, what action they took with the help of your charity (and donors), and finally the impact this has on their life.

 

Back your story up with facts

Once you’ve explored the individual’s story, zoom out and illustrate the trends at large. How many people are affected by this problem? Is the situation getting worse? What does the future look like for those affected if nothing is done?

You may have already introduced the great work your organisation does in the story at the beginning, but again, you can broaden the information out. How many people are you helping? How is that impacting society? What kind of future are you working towards?

 

Be specific how support will help

If you’re raising funds or rallying volunteers on Neighbourly, share exactly what this support will achieve, both in practical terms (such as renovating a space) and in terms of impact. This might be making your centre more pleasant for beneficiaries to be in, but also enabling you to help even more people.

 

Consider the person reading about your project

Why should they help your organisation rather than another one tackling the same issue? Why now? Remember that both people and businesses are looking to help causes that reflect their own worldview, so be clear on what your vision is.

Also, use language that your audience will understand. Your supporters might be emotionally engaged with your cause, but not an expert on the subject. Avoid jargon and always try to explain things in the simplest manner possible.

 

Get inspired

It’s always helpful to take inspiration from how other charities choose to tell their story. Take a look at the other projects looking for support on neighbourly.


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.


 

Jane

Content Manager

Dec 19, 2016

The simple things that make a huge difference

Arlington_tree

It’s that time of year again – the mince pies arrive in the shops, the decorations go up and the tree is decked with shiny baubles. For most of us this is such simple pleasure and something we probably take for granted.

Here at Neighbourly we get to hear so many incredible stories about the simple things making such a huge difference to people’s lives. Toys for children in hospitals, a lunch out for people who live alone - the things which cost very little, but mean so much. One such story that caught my eye recently was the Christmas Tree for Arlington project that came onto the Neighbourly website in early December.

The Arlington Hostel in Camden, which opened over a hundred years ago in 1905, helps homeless visitors to achieve independence and re-integrate within the community. They support people to develop their self-confidence and self-esteem, forming partnerships with organisations from the wider community and provide activities and opportunities to aid their recovery and help their well-being both physical and mental.

Their simple request was for a Christmas Tree, knowing that it would make a huge difference to their visitors' lives. A tree would also make the hostel a more welcoming place over the Christmas period.

In my eyes, it’s just not Christmas without a tree, so Team Neighbourly decided to donate some money to the Arlington Hostel to make sure that it felt as homely and festive as possible for their guests and visitors. The tree is now up and looking great! We know that it will bring some happiness to the visitors of the hostel over the festive period, and that in turn makes up happy too.

The hostel is also looking for extra donations of presents, clothing and bedding to help them over the Christmas period. If you feel that you could help them in any way, please get in touch with us here at Neighbourly (hello@neighbourly.com) or speak to someone at the hostel.

The simplest of gestures really can make such a difference - Merry Christmas!


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

Sophie Cook

Community Manager

Dec 19, 2016

If you're a local charity - thanks for all you do

LoveTeddy

Christmas is coming, and it’s time to put a penny in your local charity’s hat. 

All over the UK, foodbanks, children’s clubs and many, many more will be helping out people having a tough time over Christmas, spreading some much needed Yuletide goodwill in their community.

Research from the Small Charities Coalition and TSB last year found that over half of us think that local charities play an important role in the community, yet only one in 10 (13%) can name at least two local charities in their area, and only one in 10 (14%) help their local community by fundraising for local causes.

If you’re one of these wonderful charities, thank you for all you do, and let’s see if we can help you unlock the support of your communities.

At Neighbourly we want to know what you need.  We’re putting together campaigns like Fund A Fridge to find out what charities are struggling with and help raise awareness for them within their local communities. 

This campaign came from research we did with 200 food charities, who told us that they could do more if they had access to a fridge or freezer to store food safely. This is particularly important for charities who make use of food surplus provided through schemes such as Neighbourly Food, which connects supermarkets with local charities. 

We also know from this research there are times of the year - like Christmas - where there is much greater demand, but it’s harder to get volunteers and additional funds. We want to make life a bit easier, reducing the administration and giving more time to concentrate on supporting people, so projects on Neighbourly can list what they need and set up volunteering events. 

And we know at this time of the year it’s difficult to cut through the noise and get your message across, so Beth and Jane have put together hints and tips on how to best tell and promote your story to your community.  

We’ve got willing individuals and companies who want to help, with their time, support and in kind giving.  Find out how to join our movement with our ‘starter guide’ and go to neighbourly.com see how we can help.

Oh, and, Merry Christmas!


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

Steve Haines

Head of Community Engagement

Dec 16, 2016

How to get started with volunteering

Vol_SSG

Whether you’ve got some spare time on your hands, have a desire to give back to your local community or want to exercise your skills, you might want to try volunteering.

After all, there’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that volunteering makes us happier, healthier and more connected.

That’s great! But what do you do now? This article will help you make the right preparations, choose something you’ll be interested in and make the most of the experience.

 

1. Ask yourself not ‘what’, but ‘why’

Paradoxically, asking yourself why you want to volunteer might better help you decide what you might want to do. What’s the most compelling reason for you wanting to volunteer? If it’s to meet new people or get involved in a community project, you’ll probably prefer a sociable role that has you working as part of a team. To unleash yourself from your desk job, you might consider a role that involves being outside, or at least on your feet a bit more. Want to offer or hone a particular skill? Search for that specific activity – or perhaps you want to help a charity that addresses a cause that’s really close to your heart, regardless of whether you’re doing admin or fundraising over the phone.

2. How much time do you have?

Be honest with yourself. It’s completely fine to commit to only 1-2 hours a week – it still makes a big difference. If your work schedule is unpredictable, you might want an opportunity that’s flexible in terms of when you put in the hours, or even one-off events where you can help out as and when. If you have a fixed schedule, you might want to commit to a regular slot so that it forms part of your routine. If you really enjoy it, the organisation will surely be happy to have you giving even more of your time! Equally, there are vacancies for full time volunteering if that’s what you’re looking for.

3. Finding a local opportunity

Scour the web for something that fits what you’re looking for. Do-it.org, LinkedIn and neighbourly.com are all good places to start. Search keywords like “gardening” or “writing” along with the town or city that you live in. On Neighbourly, you can search by tag. Alternatively, pop along to local organisations and just ask if there are volunteering opportunities available. Check out what it involves and how many hours they require. Then, either register your interest or sign up for the opportunity.

4. Arrange a meeting

This varies from organisation to organisation. Some might require you to pop along to their centre, have a quick chat on the phone or will just brief you on the day. Either way, it’s a great chance for you to get to know each other, and is a perfect opportunity to ask any questions that you might have.

5.   Arrive prepared

Hopefully you’ll know in advance what is expected of you and what you need to bring on the day. Do they ask that you arrive 15 minutes before the start time? Is there a free minibus to the local farm? There is likely some information about what to wear – if you’re outside for a full day, bring some extra clothing in case the weather turns. Don’t wear your best shoes if you’re spending all day in the mud. Make sure you bring some lunch with you if it’s not provided. Again, if there’s something that’s not clear, don’t be afraid to ask beforehand.

6.   Have fun!

Volunteering should ultimately be an activity that you get some personal satisfaction from, while helping others. However, if something isn’t working for you, don’t plough on in silence. Ask your supervisor if something concerns you, or if you don’t enjoy the activity, you might want to try a different role within the organisation. Perhaps you’ve realised that you should be spending more time in a people-facing position – or less – or more time outside – or less! If you feel like you’ve taken on too much, don’t be afraid to take a break. You’ll be much more refreshed and be able to give your best when you’ve had some time off. And if volunteering for that organisation just isn’t working for you – that’s okay too. You can always look for another one.

 

Try looking at the volunteering opportunities on neighbourly to see what exciting prospects await you today!


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.

Jane

Content Manager

Dec 9, 2016

Bringing your project story to life through photos

girl_photo

It’s an old proverb that says, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and marketers have certainly cottoned on to this trend. In short, 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text, and content with visuals gets 94% more views.

                                                                                   

We know that charitable giving is more likely an emotional response rather than rational logic, and visual mediums like photos are helpful to invoke that emotion.

 

The good news is that you don’t need technical equipment to take great photos – your smartphone is perfectly adequate and available to you most of the time! Taking your own photos can often provide a much more insightful and authentic representation of your organisation than even the most professional stock photos.

 

The aim really is about taking better images – how do you take capture your mission in a photo? How do you get people to feel something about your organisation in an instant? Not everyone will get to visit your organisation or be there with you on the front-line, so consider this an opportunity to give outsiders a window into what you do.

 

You can include pictures on your project and fundraising pages on Neighbourly to help bring your story to life. Here are some ideas on what to capture with your pictures to attract more support.

 

Try a mixture of planned and spontaneous shots 

Think about what story you’d like to capture and what shots you’d like to try before you get your smartphone or camera out. Perhaps you have particular beneficiaries in mind that you’d like to involve in portraits, or you want to get some snaps at an event.

 

Don’t be afraid to capture something unexpected on the day also. You can experiment and discard them later if they didn’t work out how you intended – but you might be capturing a vital part of the story that you hadn’t considered before.

 

Take plenty 

We live in a digital world where we’re no longer limited by the amount of film we have. Get creative and allow yourself to play. Try taking a portrait of a service user, and then take some of them interacting in the space, and see which communicates more powerfully.

 

Include humans in your photo 

Ideally, you want those who look at your photograph to be emotionally moved by it, and having people in your photo adds that crucial layer. You might have a beautifully kept garden, but having your service users interacting with it will be the element that transforms your photo. Experiment with bringing another person (or group) into the frame, and see how that affects the dynamic of the photo.

 

Even if your organisation is an animal charity, you can include photos of an employee interacting with the animals, or a family with their new pet.


Food_kitchen

 

Tell your story with one or more photos 

Your photo can still tell a story in just one frame. The first step is to identify what your community’s story is, and try to capture those elements within the picture.

 

To expand your story across several photos, consider contrasting images. Try capturing the realities of life for people before using your service and during or after. How have their circumstances and emotions changed?

 

Make your subjects feel comfortable 

If you’re doing posed photographs, help your subjects feel at ease by explaining in advance what you are doing, and what the photos will be used for. When shooting, try to encourage the emotion you are trying to capture – if you want a broad smile, for example, see if you can get them to laugh!  

 

Avoid stereotypical images 

There are plenty of photos on the web of people standing in a group looking chummy. Try to capture some real interaction between them, or the ‘doing’ element of your project instead.

 

Also, consider how you might capture something that isn’t immediately visual. For example, the “headclutcher” is often used to depict mental health, yet most people surveyed didn’t think this accurately represented what it’s actually like to have a mental health issue. If in doubt, ask some of your beneficiaries who are in a good place to advise. They might have ideas of their own.

 

Don’t be afraid to get close                                                                                             

It can be tempting to stand back to avoid interfering in the action, but close ups can really capture facial expressions and emotions that might not be as poignant far away.


SSG_child

                                                                                                                     

Ask others for their opinion

Which pictures make you feel something? Which ones tell your story best? Ask a colleague or even someone outside the organisation to see which photos “speak” to people the most.

 

Upload your images to your neighbourly project page, and be sure to share it with your networks.


About Neighbourly

Neighbourly matches charity and community projects with people and companies that can lend a hand. Get support by creating and sharing a project or give support by following, donating or giving a day to volunteer.



Jane

Content Manager

Dec 5, 2016