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Budding photographers in the frame for professional prize in photo competition to support social enterprise

Budding photographers in the frame for professional prize in photo competition to support social enterprise

‘Your Park Life’ photo competition launches in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket

Monday 28th July 2014 - Social enterprise Realise Futures is launching a photographic competition to find some outstanding pictures to adorn the walls of three of its cafes in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket.

The community interest company is one of the largest social enterprises in the East of England employing 440 people in six social enterprise businesses, with some

40% of its staff disabled or disadvantaged. Social enterprises are businesses that trade to improve people’s social wellbeing and reinvest their profits back into the local community.

The competition is being run at Realise Futures’ two cafes in Bury St Edmunds - Angles Café at the West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village in Icklingham Road and Nowton Park Café in Nowton Road – as well as the newly-opened @The Rec community café in Finborough Road in Stowmarket.

Called ‘Your Park Life’, the photo competition will run from July 28 to August 22.

Realise Futures Catering manager Steve Bruce said the company wanted to involve customers in the decision of choosing what should go on the café walls, and was hoping they would come up with some creative photographic shots.

“We thought this would be a good opportunity to get our customers involved. These days, lots of people have cameras on their mobile devices or carry light-weight digital cameras, so it’s easier taking pictures out and about - and if they spot anything particularly beautiful or quirky or interesting it can be captured in an instant.

“As a theme, we thought it would work really well to have scenes from the local vicinity on the walls of the cafes, hence the name of the competition ‘Your Park Life’ because our cafes are set in some lovely parks,” he added. 

On their next visit to the cafes, Realise Futures would like people to take a picture and post it to the company’s Twitter account @realisefutures or on Facebook, or they can send their photograph by email to or post to Information and Events Coordinator, Realise Futures, Alpha House, Unit 1 – 3, Alpha Business Park, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 5LT and a winner will be picked from each of the cafes. People need to make sure they include their name and contact number.

“We hope people will be inspired to take part so we can showcase their work in the cafes. Our Stowmarket café has only recently been opened and so it will really benefit from the competition,” Mr Bruce added.

The winners will get a morning out with a professional photographer at the end of August to re-create the shot they came up with for a series of photos, with the added benefit of lighting and relevant photographic equipment. A mounted print of their winning shot as well as the shot being blown up into a large canvas in each of the cafes.

All three cafes are taking part in a Realise Futures campaign called Do A Great Deal to encourage people to ‘buy social’ to support their community.

That’s because all the profits generated by Realise Futures’ social enterprises – based in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket, Woodbridge and Felixstowe - get ploughed back into the business to create more jobs and learning opportunities. 

The Do a Great Deal campaign is about getting people and businesses in Suffolk to do something good for someone else when they purchase a product or service from a social enterprise.

The campaign website shows how two cartoon characters - dad Mike and daughter Rebecca - do a great deal by buying social, making a difference in their community where jobs are being created.

Angles Café, Nowton Park Café and @The Rec Café are open from Monday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm, and offer a range of pastries, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, children's meals and feature lots of activities for kids, with countryside views and play parks.

Article by Whitehouse Enterprises