Sam shines the spotlight on Northamptonshire’s unsung heroes

Date 5.07.2018

The lives of Northamptonshire’s unsung heroes have been celebrated by an up-and-coming photographer.

An estate agent-turned-panto dame, a kids’ football coach and someone who feeds the homeless are among county volunteers who have been featured in a project by University of Northampton Photography student Sam Joyce.

Northamptonshire’s Unsung Heroes comprises a collection of photographs of the volunteers going about their duties, published in a tabloid newspaper, and accompanied by words written by Multimedia Journalism undergraduate Max Miller.

“The unselfish act of voluntary work is something that often gets missed by mainstream media and volunteers don’t seem to get the recognition they deserve,” said Sam. “I wanted this project to change that, in some small way, and Max and I are delighted that our work is helping to raise the profiles of some of our local heroes.”

One of the volunteers featured in the project is Inderjit Jutla, who gives out food to the homeless and vulnerable in Northampton town centre, as part of the Midland Langar Seva society.

She said: “It’s amazing when you hear people say to us that this is the first hot meal they’ve eaten since Thursday, or this is the first time I’ve eaten since Wednesday. It makes you appreciate what you’ve got and is an eye-opener for the kids who volunteer with us, as we get three meals a day, whereas some of these guys are lucky if they get three a week.

“Most of us are only three pay cheques away from being made homeless and times are really hard for a lot of people. But it’s not just the homeless we help in Northampton, there are families who are struggling to put a hot meal on the table. The number of government cuts that are going on are not helping the situation.”

Inderjit added: “If you’re thinking about volunteering, then go out and do it. It’s good for you and your wellbeing. “The volunteering I’ve done has really helped me both emotionally and mentally.”

Other volunteers featured include retired Tony Bentley, who is a driver for an association for the blind, and estate agent Thomas York, who feels his role as a pantomime dame in Finedon’s annual panto gives something back to the community.