Photographer Snapped Up As New Ambassador

The Good Shepherd are delighted to announce that professional photographer and long-time supporter Stuart Manley has been named as the charity’s latest ambassador.

It is over ten years since Stuart first started supporting the Good Shepherd with his photography, including with an exhibition at the Light House Media Centre, since when he has continued to volunteer his skills to the benefit of the charity.

He now works with the Jask and Unmarked marketing agencies which includes taking photographs of some high-profile sports people, including the England men and women’s football teams, England men’s cricket team, Republic of Ireland men’s football team and several Premier League and EFL football clubs.

But even amongst those extremely busy commitments, Stuart still volunteers at the Good Shepherd providing a range of photographs which are so invaluable in raising awareness and supporting fundraising campaigns.

The Jask Creative Marketing Agency have also been strong supporters of the Good Shepherd for many years by providing advice and practical assistance to the charity’s media and marketing ambitions.

“Stuart has been such a great supporter of the Good Shepherd for well over a decade now, and his photography has become synonymous with telling the stories of our staff, volunteers and service users,” says Good Shepherd CEO Tom Hayden.

“Those pictures play such a part in helping to raise awareness of our work, as well as with vital fundraising, but all have to be handled so sensitively in terms of working with people who access our services.

“Right from his very first association with the Good Shepherd, Stuart has made it his mission to get to know the people he is photographing – he listens to their stories and experiences and works with them as fellow human beings and colleagues, way more than just subjects for his pictures.

“In doing so, those people who decide they are willing to be photographed have complete trust in him, and are also able to enjoy the experience of something which the rest of us probably take for granted.

“Stuart has a genuine care and interest in what we do, and has also joined us on several of our walking challenges as part of our Miles into Meals campaigns.

“He is the perfect choice to become a Good Shepherd ambassador, and in welcoming him to the team I must also thank everyone at Jask who continue to provide us with so many different types of complimentary marketing and fundraising support which has such a positive impact on our charity.”

Stuart added: “I first started supporting the Good Shepherd after reading an article about funding being cut for homeless services, and walked past the old site on Darlington Street and saw a massive queue of people.

“Even now, in this day and age, I still find it awful that there are so many people who are homeless or suffering in poverty, which is why the work of charities like the Good Shepherd is so massively important.

“Ever since that time that I saw the queue, I just wanted to try and help in some small way using my photography, getting along to the charity whenever I can, away from the ‘day job’.

“To be honest it helps me as well, it is genuinely such a magical place because you meet people who have been broken and are dealing with such trauma, but they do it with such a positive attitude and a smile on their face.

“I find it a privilege to be able to get to know the people at the Good Shepherd, and, for those who are willing, to take their picture.

“In terms of becoming an ambassador, anyone that knows me or who has worked with me will know I prefer to just do my job with a minimum of fuss and not to be the centre of attention.

“But it was a lovely honour to be asked, and if I can continue to use my skills to help the Good Shepherd with their incredible work then that is good enough for me.”

Stuart was first asked to consider becoming an ambassador several months ago, but since then his father Chris, who also volunteered at the Good Shepherd and was a driving force behind the art and photography classes for service users, has sadly passed away from cancer at the age of 77.

“My Dad was my best friend and I miss him terribly but I know that he would want me to carry on supporting the Good Shepherd, a charity which was so close to his heart,” he added.

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