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'Malvern Common in Spring and Summer'
In November 2012 founder of this charity Jane Smith booked her flight to The Gambia for the following February 2013 anticipating that she would have to announce that there was no more funding and she would have to close the charity.  She then produced this photobook hoping to sell 50. Well over 400 were sold and its production meant that the charity was saved.  It also produced a large amount of publicity and resulted in exhibitions and talks 'How Malvern's Wild Orchids Help Gambian Bananas Grow'. By special arrangements with a local printing firm and collating the books herself the production costs were kept to a minimum.

As with many aspects of her fundraising it all happened by chance.

 A report from the local newspaper

PHOTOBOOK of orchids by a woman living on Malvern Common is proving a surprise fund-raising smash.

Jane Smith, who lives right on the common in Longridge Road, bought herself a simple camera and started taking pictures of the carpet of orchids and wild flowers right outside her door.

Last month she went online and compiled some of her favourite shots into a photobook and was taken by surprise when people started seeing it and saying they would like a copy.

Mrs Smith started looking for a more cost-effective way of reproducing the photobook and found The Coaster Company based in Spring Lane.


Working with the local firm means she is able to sell the photobook for £10, with £5 going to support a charity she set up three years ago called Just Act Gambia, promoting sustainable tourism and community training.

Mrs Smith initially hoped to sell 50 photobook to raise enough money to train up and license young people in The Gambia as tour guides.

But she underestimated demand for the photobook, which is flying off the shelves almost as fast as she can get it printed.

Copies have been snapped up by members of her Chance to Dance group, at Malvern Theatres and gym classes at The Splash, while it is now on sale at many venues across town including Malvern Book Co-operative and Malvern Hills Conservators.

'Through the Year Around Malvern Common'
Following the success of 'Malvern Common in Spring and Summer' Jane was encourage to produce a calendar and  this time captured many images not only on  Malvern Common, but up to Malvern Wells Common and the Worcestershire Golf Course all enabled by daily walks with her ageing dog Mishka.  These images then formed the basis for the  new photobook beginning with a spectacular sunrise on January 1st through to sunset December 31st 2013.  It was a year of extreme weather with a prolonged winter leading to a delayed spring. Early July brought a heatwave and a flood of butterflies.There was always something to see.

These photobooks are no longer available

Newsletters of the time

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