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Communities in Focus: Photo competition launches to capture country’s community spirit

Release date:
21 11 2012

Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and national communications charity Media Trust, in partnership with the Thisis and localpeople community news sites run by Northcliffe Digital, have launched Communities in Focus, a photography competition to showcase inspiring images of people and communities from across the country.

From snapshots of local events such as street parties and farmers’ markets to portraits of people making a difference, such as charity volunteers or the village choir, Communities in Focus is designed to showcase the brilliant people, groups and activities that are the life of our communities.

The competition will run on the competition pages of all Thisis websites and on localpeople websites across England for four weeks. 

There will be two categories in the competition: one for inspiring images of community life, and the other for photos of projects funded by the Big Lottery Fund making a positive difference to people and communities. 

One winner will be selected from each category by a high profile judging panel, each winner will receive a new Canon D-SLR camera and two places on a photography training course supplied by Media Trust.

To enter the competition you must register with Media Trust’s Cam360, specifically designed as a place to share and publish great images. Simply register for free via the Cam360 website and then follow the instructions on the Communities in Focus application form to submit your photo.

Gavin Sheppard Marketing Director at Media Trust said: “This competition is a fantastic opportunity for people to capture and share photographs of their community. There are so many great stories in our communities and a huge number of exciting and inspiring photographs to match; we can't wait to see them.”

Dharmendra Kanani, Big Lottery Fund’s England Director, said: “In tough times there couldn’t be a better way of celebrating the good things that are alive and kicking in local communities. BIG has £1.5billion Lottery good-cause funding to invest in England between now and 2015. It is local people and communities that bring this money to life through their hard work, commitment and spirit to make a life-changing difference. This competition will enable a portrait of community good across England and create a legacy of how people and communities have done great things to improve their lives and help others with Lottery funding.”

Lee Williams, executive director digital, Northcliffe Media, said: “Communities are at the heart of what we do. The communities we serve through our Thisis and localpeople websites already contribute heavily to the news and information we publish, supplying us with their photos and stories. Through this app and competition we hope to encourage yet more community content and look forward to showcasing some of the best entries as the competition progresses.”

All entries must be supplied with a caption explaining when the photo was taken and why it illustrates what’s brilliant about their community, or Big Lottery Fund project. Full details on how to enter are available at www.mediatrust.org/cam360 . Entries must be received by Wednesday 19 December.
To find Big Lottery Fund projects in your area, visit: http://www.biglotteryfundgrants.org.uk

Notes to Editors
For further information please contact:
• Kerry Thorpe, Head of PR, Media Trust, e: kerryt@mediatrust.org, m: 07905 041329.

• Emma Twyning, Senior Press Manager, Big Lottery Fund, e:Emma.Twyning@biglotteryfund.org.uk , t: 0207 211 3839, out of hours: 07867 500 572

About Media Trust: At Media Trust we believe in the power of media to change lives. We work with the media industry to empower charities and communities to have a voice and be heard. This is achieved by;
o providing communications skills and resources;
o helping access audiences;
o harnessing creative industry talent.
Our corporate members include Aegis Group plc, AMV BBDO, BBC, Channel 4, Daily Mail and General Trust, Discovery Networks Europe, Google, Guardian Media Group, IPC Media, ITV plc, MTV Networks UK and Ireland, News International, Sky, WPP.

About Big Lottery Fund (BIG): The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good-cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery. BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and awards grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since June 2004 BIG has awarded over £4.4bn. Full details of the work of the Big Lottery Fund, its programmes and awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk.  Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888, Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030, Textphone:  08456 021 659

In the Big Lottery Fund category, photos of any of the tens of thousands of BIG-funded projects England are eligible, from respite schemes for carers, projects helping people with disabilities or illness, youth and family support projects, to the thousands of funded parks and public spaces.

Northcliffe Digital is at the forefront of the digital media revolution, with the ThisIs regional portals and hyperlocal localpeople brands widely recognised as the first place users think of when they want to engage locally; and the first place for local advertisers to gain high-quality local leads.

The two market-leading regional and local brands, ThisIs and localpeople, reach nearly 7 million unique users monthly. Both these brands are leading forces in the regional and local digital market, allowing local users to access and engage with valuable content.  Both digital brands offer advertisers smart marketing solutions to target local advertisers through geography, market sector and behaviour, complementing Northcliffe Media’s regional newspaper brands.

There are currently 27 This Is sites and 170 Local People sites across the UK.


Organisation Types

  • Voluntary or community organisation
  • Individual


  • Voluntary and community sector organisations
  • Families
  • Children
  • Older people
  • Young people


  • Stronger communities