Major award for Hannahs photography student

CJ Ware, a regular guest at Hannahs at Seale-Hayne, has achieved a major photography award. He has received a Licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society.

This is a huge achievement for CJ who has Aspergers Syndrome and a range of other disabilities. After three years of hard work and working closely with local photographer Clive Figes, CJ produced ten stunning photographic images which earned him this award.

CJ has been a regular at Hannahs at Seale-Hayne since 2011 when he left school. He had found it difficult fitting in with his peers and lacked confidence within groups of people. With a keen interest in photography he was introduced to Clive Figes, an associate of the Royal Photographic Society, who was using Seale-Hayne for a photo shoot. Clive had approached Hannahs offering his services to one of Hannahs guests who might be interested in photography.

Clive Figes said “In 2011 Karoline Stanton from Hannahs at Seale-Hayne introduced me to CJ and from then on CJ came into my life. The first proposal was to get him to a basic standard for an Entry Level qualification. It was soon apparent that CJ was capable of a far higher level of achievement. We aimed for The Royal Photographic Society’s Licentiate distinction, with the Royal being the highest level of photographic society world-wide. There followed three years of studying, photographing, processing and learning what images were about. We met on a weekly basis and CJ fast became an important part of my working and social life, coming with me on location and also when I gave lectures and talks and more than held his own when attendants asked him questions during the breaks. On 17th July 2014 CJ finally obtained his Licentiate qualification. He could not have made me and my family more proud. The journey is not over as he has embarked on his associate level as he has been bitten by the thirst for knowledge.”

Hannahs Adult Services Co-ordinator, Karoline Stanton, said “It has been an absolute privilege for Hannahs to be able to support both CJ and Clive Figes on CJ’s incredible journey to obtain his Licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society. It is because of Clive’s generous offer to work with CJ through a collaboration with Hannahs, and through CJ’s sheer determination and hard work that he has managed to produce these images to achieve such an amazing result. Clive’s support to get him so far has been a constant source of positivity in CJ’s life. CJ is now a much more confident individual who happily goes into environments that he would never have dared to in the past. CJ has shown people what can be achieved if someone is given the opportunity to gain a qualification doing something they love rather than being marginalised due to whatever disability they might have. Well done CJ!”

Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS, Director-General of the Royal Photographic Society said “CJ’s portfolio of work was well received by The RPS Panel of assessors and met the standard we expect from all applicants. The Licentiate is not easy to get and it is a great achievement. More importantly CJ’s success shows the therapeutic value that photography and the arts can bring across a wide-range of conditions”.