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RPS London - CafeArt Photography Mentoring Programme

RPS + Cafeart Dual Logo Copy
Photography Mentoring Programme for people who have been homeless
London Region volunteers mentor a group of people who have been homeless to improve their photographic skills

Support to Cafe Art

As part of the educational charitable work in which the RPS is engaged, Members from London Region support the photographic activities of Cafe Art, a social enterprise company which helps people who are homeless or affected by the effects of homelessness through art and photography.  Each Summer, CafeArt runs the MyLondon Calendar Competition which produces a calendar of images taken by people who are or have been homeless. It sells this calendar which is sold by the photographers who receive “commission” with the balance of income supporting CafeArt’s activities.

Photography Mentoring

Since 2015, Members of the London Region have been offering photography mentoring to people who have participated in the CafeArt Calendar Competition. 

In 2018, we started a structured photography mentoring group for photographers who have participated in the calendar project.  Typically, twice a month it organises a field trips around London followed a week later by online feedback and learning sessions. Members of the group participate in an annual exhibition (2023: Brixton Library; 2024: Putney Library) to showcase their work.

The mentoring is restricted to mentoring their photography skills, but the regular nature of the programme and the building a collegiate group amongst mentors and mentorees assists with helping them to become part of the mainstream.

The composition of the group changes over time as some move on to other things and new members join.  The current group is about 13 regular members.

Funding Appeal for new cameras

New members to the group do not have cameras so use cameras provided for the mentoring sessions.  As they become more involved and their photography improves, some established members of the group buy their own cameras.

The growth of the group means that we now need to purchase new cameras for the newer members of the group and also to replace our existing cameras which are now quite old.  Currently mentors bring along some of their own cameras which they loan to mentorees for the field trips.  This results in the mentorees using a mixed bag of camera makes and models which complicates the mentoring process because each mentor is only familiar with their own brand of camera and are frequently unable to assists mentorees using other brands.  And the functionality available varies between cameras - further complicating the mentor's task.  Having the same cameras will simplyfy this part of the mentor's role and commonality of controls and functionality will benfit mentorees as progess along their photographic journey.

We are appealing for funding to purchase up to 10 new cameras which would give the mentorees who need a loan camera for the field trip the same brand and model allowing mentors to understand fully the functionality and controls of one camera model.  It also facilitates mentorees helping each other with the operation of the cameras.

To donate please follow this link


Other support for CafeArt and the Mentoring programme

There are opportunities for Members to help with the mentoring programme and also help with the single-use camera handout for the annual MyLondon Calendar Competition.

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact Julian Rouse by e-mail here or Judy Hicks by e-mail here


All of our regular monthly meetings are being held on the usual dates; North London, SW London and SE London are now in-person only.  Bookworms is now a mixture of in-person and hybrid meetings (in-person and online);  We have introduced a London Zoom (online only) for those who cannot easily reach the three regular locations. click here for details of all our events.

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