Anthony Nolan and Contact the Elderly scoop top photography prizes

Anthony Nolan and Contact the Elderly are among winners of a national photography competition, NCVO and PhotoVoice announced today.

The competition, inviting charities to enter photographs to convey their contribution to communities, received more than 120 entries.

Photographs were entered in two categories.

  • Those taken by Staff and Volunteers.
  • Those taken by a Service User.

First prize in the Staff and Volunteers category went to Contact the Elderly for a photo taken by Louisa Aidoo, a regular volunteer who drives isolated older people to events such as tea parties.

In the Service User category, Naomi Clayson won on behalf of Anthony Nolan with a photograph of her daughter Esme, who was diagnosed with leukaemia as a toddler and has since made a full recovery.

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The annual competition is run jointly by NCVO, which represents the voluntary sector, and PhotoVoice. An exhibition of the winning photographs was sponsored by Metro Imaging and displayed at NCVO’s Evolve conference on Monday evening (15 June).

Both winners received a digital camera, a place at NCVO’s annual conference, Evolve, and a ticket for a PhotoVoice participatory photography workshop worth £500.

Runners up were awarded digital cameras, PhotoVoice membership and books on photography. Prizes were donated by Olympus cameras and Dewi Lewis Publishing.

A shortlist of 12 photographs was chosen by a panel, which included Magnum photographer, Ian Berry, NCVO chair, Martyn Lewis, PhotoVoice chief executive, Tom Elkins, and Metro Imaging director, Steve Macleod. The shortlist was opened to a public vote to decide the winner. Over 1680 votes were cast.

Martyn Lewis, chair of NCVO, said:

“Charities make an enormous difference to their communities and the winning photographs tell some brilliant stories. We are very proud to support our members in telling their stories and raising awareness of what charities around the country are involved in. We had an extremely high calibre of submissions this year and I hope all entrants will keep taking photographs to communicate their purpose and the difference they make.”

Tom Elkins, chief executive of PhotoVoice, said:

“Photography is a powerful way to tell a story. It’s been wonderful seeing how charities across the UK are using photographs to provide insight into their important activities, and the difference they make. Selecting from the diverse range of submissions was not an easy task for the judges. I hope other charities are inspired by these examples to pick up cameras and use them to communicate their own work.”

Mary Rance, chief executive of Contact the Elderly, said:

“We are thrilled to have won the NCVO photo competition in our 50th anniversary year. Like Stan, there are more than two million people over 75 living alone in the UK. Contact the Elderly’s monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties provide a vital lifeline to thousands, and we hope that with the help of this award-winning photo we can reach out to more volunteers and support more of the profoundly lonely people who would benefit from our service.”

Naomi Clayson, winner of the service user category, said:

“Esme has been through an incredible journey, one with many ups and downs, but her sheer determination and strength got us through to the other side. Esme was given a chance to live because of Anthony Nolan; without them I wouldn’t want to imagine where we would be today.”

Full list of winners

Staff and Volunteers category

1. Friendship Knows No Age: Contact the Elderly

This photo was taken by Louisa Aidoo, a regular volunteer driver for Stan who is shown in the photo with Louisa’s son, Noah. Stan is a 96 year-old Polish veteran.

2. Stir It Up: Soroptimist International

This photo shows a Soroptimist International member visiting the school kitchen building in Malawi she funded. She is pictured with mothers who volunteer to make porridge each morning for 2,300 children.

3. #GirlsCan Help The World and Follow Their Dreams! Girlguiding UK

Marianne Matthews volunteers in Kenya with wildlife charities. She says, “Many have accepted me thanks to my involvement with Girlguiding UK due to its organisational skills and educational connections. Volunteering has given me the confidence I lacked. Here I am with The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on an elephant rescue. The elephant has a spear wound so we went to heal him. I took the role of checking his vital signs. Such a serious situation, sad but amazing to be so close and involved”.

Service User category

1.Esme Clayson: Anthony Nolan


Naomi Clayson says about her photograph of daughter Esme, “It takes my breath away. Her eyes tell you so much – not just what she’s been through, but how she’s succeeding in her fight against leukaemia.” Esme was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was a toddler. The only potential for a cure was a bone marrow transplant. Blood cancer charity, Anthony Nolan, found a matching donor and Esme had her first transplant in 2011. Sadly, this transplant failed and in May 2012, Esme underwent a second transplant with stem cells from the same donor. Esme has gone from strength to strength in her recovery and is a beautiful giggly little girl.

2.A Beautiful View: Care4All


The photo was taken by a service user, Andrew, while out walking with the nature group which convenes each Thursday at the Newby Centre, Grimsby. The Centre is one of the charity’s favourite venues and the nature group is an essential part of the weekly programme. Andrew enjoys learning about nature and watching the farm machinery at work. This photograph is of farm land crops used to make bread and cereal.

3.Our Rock: Fight Bladder Cancer UK


Craig Kemp is a 35 year-old bladder cancer patient. “I have found the best support to be the charity Fight Bladder Cancer UK. Quite simply, they are the best bunch of people I have ever met. The charity is founded and run by bladder cancer survivors. The online confidential forum has been invaluable to me and made my journey easier”.


  1. For further information, or for a higher resolution version of any image, please email Helen Raftery or call 020 7520 2424.
  2. All entries to the competition are available to view on Flickr.
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