Through Inclusive Images, Charlie runs Community Action and Community Voice workshops that help groups tell and share their stories through the power of photography. He provides people with basic photography skills and gives participants cameras so they can record what is happening in their own communities and organisations. He then works with the groups to turn their photos into campaign and promotional materials or exhibitions.
Charlie said: “Ordinary people with a story to tell often find it difficult to reach those in authority. Photography is a powerful medium which helps break through those barriers to get their message across, a single image and a powerful caption can speak volumes.”
Charlie came to Firstport in 2016 for help with his business plan. After tapping into the business support available, he successfully applied for a Start It award through the Social Entrepreneurs Fund. This enabled him to get Inclusive Images up and running with a website, marketing and legal structure in place.
After successfully piloting the business, in 2017 Charlie received a Build It award to cover salary costs, allowing him to concentrate fully on developing his business.
Charlie also has support from local authorities in West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow and Argyll & Bute. He successfully pitched for funding from the Social Enterprise Challenge Fund, run by West Dunbartonshire Council alongside Firstport. The Social Enterprise Challenge Fund was set up to help launch local businesses that address social or environmental needs while offering new employment opportunities. As well as meeting the essential criteria, Charlie was able to demonstrate how his service would benefit financially challenged people and families across West Dunbartonshire.
Charlie hopes to carry out at least 10 groups of workshops in the first year and hopefully 14 in year two. He also hopes to develop team building workshops which will give the company another income stream. Eventually, his goal is to be in a position to offer some free workshops over the year.