A Poole-based camera club, set up to allow older people to socialise and spend time with their neighbours, has expressed its “delight” at the success of a social media campaign to help replace equipment stolen during a pre-Christmas break-in.
Members of the Happy Snappers club, all aged 60 and over, were left devastated after their shared computer – containing many irreplaceable photographs – was stolen from the common room at PHP’s Cinnamon Lane sheltered scheme.
The 12-strong group get together on a monthly basis to critique their work, and mount and display their favourite shots for fellow residents to enjoy. But the meetings were temporarily interrupted following the theft of the laptop, which wasn’t insured as it was stored in a communal area.
When news of the break-in reached PHP, Community Involvement Officer Claire Wade wasted no time in reaching out to the local community for help getting the club up and running again.
Claire’s crowdfunding project attracted significant interest on social media, eventually leading to a meeting with IT, media and marketing company 2xStream, which offered to donate a refurbished Apple laptop, preloaded with image-editing software, free of charge.
Claire said: “The camera club provides a fantastic opportunity for older people to get together and enjoy sharing their passion for photography, so having their laptop stolen was a massive blow. But thanks to the support we received on Facebook and Twitter, the message soon spread and the club now has the use of a superb new piece of kit. We’re incredibly thankful to the 2xStream team for their generosity.”
The donation couldn’t have come at a better time for Happy Snappers. The club is celebrating after a successful exhibition of their work at Parkstone Library, while gearing up for a further three-week showcase at Oakdale Library from Saturday 28th February 2015.
Chair of Happy Snappers Cliff Densley, 82, said: “Happy Snappers has been running since 2005 and this was the first time we experienced having any of our equipment stolen. What’s amazing is that something so unfortunate has been turned around by a hugely generous donation, which we are very thankful for. We’re delighted that Happy Snappers has returned to business and usual and we’re really excited about our next exhibition.”
Happy Snappers is open to all Poole residents over the age of 55. The club meets every month and doesn’t charge any fees to attend. To find out more please email Claire Wade or call 01202 264310.