Brentwood photographer has 'wonderful obsession' with raising money for charities with help from celebrities
PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 October 2018
A photographer has spent his career raising more than £150,000 for charities but he's now aiming to make even more for worthy causes across the country.
Inspired by his 30th birthday, Richard Barker, from Brentwood, decided he wanted to help others and so since 2014, has made £117,811 for Haven House Children’s Hospice and around another £30,000 for other charities across the country, with some help from businesses and celebrities.
Richard started fundraising for Haven House by asking for 30 auction prizes to mark his 30th birthday.
Four years later, with the support of friends and family, businesses and a host of celebrities including Kate Moss, Andy Murray and Usain Bolt, he has surpassed his original ambition, with no plans to slow down yet.
He said: “Working as a freelance photographer covering celebrity visits, I’d had an opportunity to meet the many wonderful staff, children and families at Haven House Children’s Hospice.
“With a milestone birthday approaching, I wanted to do something to support the incredible work they do.”
Richard was no stranger to fundraising, having already set up three charity appeals and won the Vodafone World of Difference competition twice before his 30th birthday.
“As a result of my passion for fundraising, Vodafone sponsored me to work with two charities and Haven House was one of those charities”, he said.
“I approach businesses and celebrities asking for prizes to be used in silent and live auctions, raffles and competitions. One example of an extraordinary prize is a holiday in the West Indies at a luxury villa donated by Peter de Savary on two separate occasions raising a total of £17,000.”
Alongside his day job as a freelance photographer, Richard spends hours every day working on his fundraising campaign and sending hundreds of emails to donors based all over the world to raise funds and the profile of Haven House.
He continued: “
“I have to admit that it’s become an obsession.
“Someone else described it as a wonderful obsession and they are probably right.
“If I can inspire one other young person to support a local charity, I’ll be happy.
“Volunteers are unsung heroes who give their time and money selflessly.
“Without volunteers many charities simply wouldn’t exist.”