Photographer raises £10,000 for Thames Hospice through calendars

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A Wooburn Green-based photographer says he is ‘absolutely elated’ after smashing his target to raise £10,000 for the hospice which cared for his late wife.

In August, snapper Phil Laybourne released a calendar full of his favourite shots to raise money for Bray’s Thames Hospice.

The Windsor Road facility cared for his late wife Gail, who passed away in May 2020 from a rare illness.

Phil regularly posts pictures online and is well-known for snapping stunning landscape images of different landmarks in the area.

He decided to compile his own 2022 calendar, packed with colourful shots from around Wooburn and Bourne End, with an original aim of raising £4,000 for the charity by Christmas.

All money raised from calendar sales – priced at £10 each – went straight to Thames Hospice. Phil also sought the help of technical experts at Bourne End-based business the TeeTree Group to set up his own website, and has had generous sponsorship from Bourne End and Cookham Rotary Club.

Phil paid a visit to Thames Hospice on Monday this week to meet staff and the volunteers who helped him create the calendar.

He also donated a cheque of £10,000 to the charity – smashing his original target by £6,000, with a total of 850 calendars sold.

“I am absolutely elated but also humbled that so many people out there have supported the cause,” he said.

“It is a local calendar and I think people relate to them [the pictures]. That has helped the sales.

“I started with a £4,000 target and I didn’t think I would do that. To reach £10,000 is incredible.

“It was a way of giving something back to the hospice for looking after Gail – they are a wonderful organisation.”

Phil hinted that he plans on potentially running another fundraising attempt next year, but was going to take a break and enjoy Christmas first before making any firm plans.

Thames Hospice’s marketing manager Stephanie Peters praised Phil’s support for the charity, adding that he has also volunteered some of his own time to take pictures for the hospice.

She said: “We are absolutely thrilled. For an individual to raise that kind of money is just incredible and he has been so dedicated.

“Phil has also been doing quite a lot of volunteer photography for the hospice and supporting us at events. He has been fantastic.

“We cared for his late wife last year and I know he is immensly grateful for the care and support we gave Gail. That support has extended to him and his daughters as well.”

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