Efficiency North were very proud to sponsor member landlord St Leger Homes' first tenants' photo competition and to meet the finalists at the Tenants' Choice Awards event held at the Holiday Inn in Warmsworth on Tuesday 5 September.
The competition, which required entrants to depict what living in Doncaster meant to them, attracted entries from tenants throughout the Doncaster borough. The standard of competition was so high that the judges eventually decided that four entries in the senior category merited a finalists’ place, instead of the proposed three. Boleslaw Olszewski took the winner's title with his photograph entitled 'Let the Rainbow In', with Gary Marshall, Kirstee-Leigh Branston and Linda Tyrrell's entries all being highly commended.
For Gemma Lowe, the event was a double whammy. Not only did she win the 25 and under category of the photographic competition with her entry entitled 'Peace, Forgiveness, Hope and Second Chances', but she was also named Young Person of the Year in the Tenants’ Choice awards.
The under-16 category was won by Jack Holvey with his excellent photograph entitled 'Roots'. It was deemed by the judges to meet the brief exactly - a picture which reflects your life in Doncaster – and showed great maturity and an understanding of composition which belies his 15 years.
Such was the quality of Jack’s entry that he was also named overall winner. Jack was surprised and “well embarrassed” at his success. His mum, Lisa Baines, knew he had a talent for photography, commenting, “He’s always rushing off to take photos of sunsets and the like. I think he’s done really well."
As well as joining the St Leger Homes team and Doncaster's civic mayor Councillor George Derx for afternoon tea, every finalist was presented with a certificate and a canvas print of their winning photo. The winner of each category also received a £40 shopping voucher and Jack, as overall winner, was presented with a 360 degree camera.
Social Value Manager Paul Mitchell, who presented the photographic awards on behalf of Efficiency North, said: “We are delighted to be involved in what is such an important event for all St Leger Homes tenants and residents. Community engagement is at the heart of what we do so it has been a real pleasure to be part of these celebrations.”
Gary Marshall, who captured a stunning image of a high rise block said, “It was a surprise to me that I was a finalist. I took the photo a few hours before I found out about the competition so the timing was perfect.”
Linda Tyrrell, who works with the ladies at the Hyde Park TARA (Tenants and Residents Association), as part of Move More Doncaster, encouraging them to keep fit commented, “I thought the photo would attract some publicity for the group but I really didn’t expect all this.”
Double winner Gemma Lowe said, “I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was really shocked and when I heard what people said about me in the video, it made me cry.”