Photography Competition Proves There Are 'No Limits'

Law firm and charity competition showcases inspirational moments from people with disabilities

03.01.2014

An emotional story-driven photo competition led by national law firm Irwin Mitchell and UK charity Contact a Family has concluded with the overall category winners announced following hundreds of entries pouring in from up and down the country.

Specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, in association with charity Contact a Family, launched the online ‘No Limits’ competition in October.

The competition invited people to enter images which were empowering and could demonstrate that every disabled person has the right to live their life and work toward their goals, free from limitations.

Judging took place on Tuesday 3 December and the competition organisers are pleased to announce the following winners:

Over 18s
• Independence – Aiden Leck (Carlisle)
• People – Ian Callen (Bristol & France)
• Ambition – Graham O’Hanlon (Dolgellau)
• Life – Boston Mace (Chelmsford, Essex)

Under 18s
• Independence – Graeme Baker (Newcastle Upon Tyne)
• People – Lesley O’Donnell (Redditch)
• Ambition – Wendy O’Carroll  (Westonzoyland)
• Life – Edel Coulter (Lisburn)

The judges also identified an overall competition winner and this is Ian Callen.

As the overall competition winner, Ian received an iPad as a category winner, £200 Amazon vouchers and a smartphone attachable lens-style camera.

Stuart Henderson from Irwin Mitchell said: “We had an idea of the type of images we may receive for this competition but what we received in the end was truly incredible.

“The competition had an important message – that everyone, no matter what their disability, has the right to live their life and work towards their goals without limiting aspirations.

“It was extremely difficult to narrow the entries down to a shortlist and then choosing the winners was even harder. I would challenge anyone not to be inspired by the photos received.

“This competition really did prove that there are no limits for people with disabilities.

“We work with many disabled people who through specialist help, support and rehabilitation, along with a good helping of will and determination, have achieved remarkable milestones.”

The competition ran in association with Contact a Family, a UK-wide charity that supports the families of disabled children whatever their condition or disability. With over 30 years' experience, their vision is that families with disabled children are empowered to live the lives they want and achieve their full potential, for themselves, for the communities they live in, and for society. 

Paul Soames, CEO, of Contact a Family, added: “We’re delighted with how this competition went. The photos and stories told within them really captured the hearts of the judges.

“Having a disability should not mean that you cannot realise your dreams. On behalf of Contact a Family, Irwin Mitchell and the judges of the competition, I’d like to thank everyone who entered - every entry inspired us all.

To view the winners and other entries please visit www.irwinmitchell.com/nolimits.

WINNER'S STORY – Ian Callen, Fishponds Bristol

Hundreds of entries were submitted to the ‘No Limits’ competition each with their own story but the judges had to pick a winner and here is what the judges said about Ian’s photo:

• A dynamic moment of adventure which was both humorous and engaging
• A lovely picture with so much to commend
• Image of fun on a trip which told a story we wanted to know more about

Ian originally moved to France with his wife Anna to teach dyslexic children but unfortunately due to the recession the school shut down in 2009.

Not to be beaten in his quest for giving children with learning difficulties a better life, Ian decided to help set up a business called Go Provence which provides meaningful and quality supported holidays for adults and children with learning disabilities.

Competition winner Ian said: “This competition was an excellent and extraordinary idea. The entries from people really did tell amazing stories and to be chosen as the overall winner is a complete surprise given the unique standard of entries.

“I just feel totally humbled by the judge’s decision because some of the photos sent in were so powerfully imaginative.

“We were actually taking some children on a boating trip with the children in St Tropez in the South of France when the picture was taken. The camera was set on a timer on the end of the boat with the weather quite blustery but it captured the heartwarming moment that I sent in to the No Limits competition.

“I would like to say thank you to the judges but I think everyone who entered was a worthy winner and the competition really did prove there are no limits to what people can achieve.”