The Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Colchester, Chavasse VC House, has teamed up with Garden World Images to offer Garden Photography workshops to support wounded, injured and sick serving personnel, veterans and their loved ones on their road to recovery.
Using the Heroes Garden which includes Hope on the Horizon, Matt Keightley’s silver-gilt and People’s Choice winning Chelsea Flower Show garden, the group of Heroes and a few loved ones spent a crisp but gloriously sunny morning learning camera settings and different equipment before being let loose in the wintry garden to find and photograph anything that caught their eye.
Inspiration was never going to be hard to find in a garden that incorporates granite structures, hornbeam trees, reflection pools, silver birch and a wealth of ferns. Fallen leaves still with a morning frost, a drooping rose at the end of its blossom and ripples in water were just some of many images taken. Afterwards, there was a chance to view the images and evaluate each one to help discover what makes a great professional garden image.
For Fiona, a Help for Heroes Band of Sisters member, it was a chance to get close to nature and take time out for herself.
Fiona said: “As a wife of a wounded veteran I spend a lot of time worrying my husband is ok, and helping him manage his pain. I love him with all my heart so I do it willingingly – in sickness and in health – but it is tiring. I’m so thankful to have the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre close-by and to have their support. It seems like a such simple thing - spending time in a garden - but when you combine it with an enjoyable activity like photography it concentrates the mind and the eye on beauty. I lost myself in nature for a few hours and it was wonderful.”
The workshop was led by Tyrone and Linda McGlinchey, of Garden World Images Ltd (GWI) based in West Bergholt, Colchester. GWI is a Horticultural Picture Library which has been around for many years, supplying plant images to the media, and photographic expertise to amateur and professional photographers around the world.
Tyrone said: “We have such passion for garden photography, and wanted to share this love of both plants and pictures with the veterans. We are very proud that our profession has the potential to assist with their recovery and we look forward to working with everyone at Chavasse House”
Steve Schollar, Centre Manager at Chavasse VC House, said: “Recovery comes in all forms, so it is important we provide a full range of programmes to ensure that we fulfil the charity’s 360 degree holistic approach which includes medical, mind, body, spirit and family needs. This is why Help for Heroes offers mindfulness activities alongside sports recovery activities as we acknowledge that everyone needs quiet time too.
The Heroes Garden is the perfect setting for our wounded to ‘decompress’ after the challenges and high octane activities undertaken elsewhere. Programmes such as Garden Photography allow our Heroes to immerse themselves in and get close to nature.”
Click here to find out more about our Recovery Centres and how they support our wounded and their loved ones.