St Albans 11-year-old creates second annual charity nature calendar
PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 November 2018
An autistic child photographer has snapped 12 beautiful nature shots for his second annual charity calendar.
Eleven-year-old Giles Smith is raising money for Charcot Marie Tooth UK and the British Cycling Disability Hub Sessions at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
The causes are close to his heart - Giles has the hand and feet nerve disorder called Charcot Marie Tooth Disease, which means the only time he can ride a bike is when he uses a handcycle at the hub session.
Donations from the calendar will go towards getting another specialist bike for the club.
Around £550 would buy a used handcycle but £750 is enough for a brand new one.
Mum Jenny Smith, who runs St Albans photographic business DigitalJen, said: “I am very proud of him, of course, and school has been incredibly supportive.
“The feedback is even better than last year and I am incredibly proud that he wants to make a difference to other people in the same situation as him - because that is lovely.
“The cycle gives him freedom and the desire to give other children that freedom shows a wisdom beyond his years.”
Last year, Giles’ calendar raised £800 for the National Autistic Society and Charcot Marie Tooth UK.
He took the nature shots in the 2019 calendar while on days out, in garden centres, and on holiday in France and Cornwall.
Jenny added: “The camera is with us pretty much most places. It’s out and about.
“He is very focussed, very perceptive and very happy with the camera.”
Giles taught himself photography, initially saving up to buy himself a Panasonic FZ72 in August 2016.
The youngster now has an Olympus super lightweight mirrorless camera which he bought with cash from selling prints.
Jenny added that Giles is gaining lots of business skills on his photography journey, like learning the principles of cash flow and expenses.
He won the Young Achiever category at the Herts Advertiser Community Awards 2018.