The times I went out to exercise during the lockdown I had a strange feeling with all small shops closed, the heart of the village completely quiet, I could hear the silence, I felt scary sometimes. I wondered how things would get back to normal without a vaccine. I don't know about you, but I could feel the virus spreading through my hands when I touched something outside my house. Coronavirus came like a bomb, I heard stories from my friend's parents comparing what we were living to the war. Everything so new, so unexpected, so hard to deal with sometimes.
Three months have passed and then I heard that a local cafe had reopened to take away only, so I decided to walk my camera. I could see some friendly faces around and that made me feel good and hopeful.
I stopped to grab a coffee, God! I missed that oat milk cappuccino so badly, and whilst I had a quick 2 meters distance chat with the cafe owners I realised that they were struggling to keep their doors open, clientele was still far to be back to normal. So I offered them a portrait of them at the shop doorstep so they could share on their social media and let people know that they were open again. They said yes and cheese and when I shared the photo on the local community group on Facebook, other shops expressed their interest in doing the same. So I thought that this would be a good way to help community to boost their confidence, local shops to recover and why not to raise money for people who were, and still are, struggling due the pandemic? Then I researched some charity projects and charities locally and it was heartbraking to find that Haven House's future was uncertain and I decided to ask the shops, in return for the photos, for a donation to Haven House Children's Hospice. You can see shops that have donated so far on my fundraising page: https://www.havenhouse.org.uk/fundraisers/renatacastrophotographys-fundraising-page. And here they are: