St Albans Fashion Week 2016 shows support for local photographer following his son’s death

Sam Shepheard, son of SAFW photographer Craig Shepheard, died earlier this year

Sam Shepheard, son of SAFW photographer Craig Shepheard, died earlier this year - Credit: Archant

Organisers of St Albans Fashion Week (SAFW) have shown their support for a long-standing photographer by backing a charitable fund set up in his son’s memory.

Nineteen-year-old Sam Shepheard, son of SAFW photographer Craig Shepheard, lived with cerebral palsy, and after a series of health complications, unexpectedly died earlier this year.

SAFW have chosen to support the charity StarScope in his memory, with money raised going to the Sam Shepheard Communication and Technology (CAT) fund.

The cerebral palsy charity helped support Sam and his family and the CAT fund will go towards helping others with the condition by funding technology and devices to help them communicate more effectively.

SAFW Director, Ellena Ophira, said: “Craig is very much a part of the SAFW family. He has been a huge champion and supporter of SAFW from year one and we owe everything to those who took the leap of faith with us at the beginning.

“Craig has stood by us, so there was no question as to which charity we would support this year. We can’t think of a more worthwhile recipient of all our fundraising efforts and we hope to raise more money than we ever have done before, all in memory of Sam.”

There will be a charity luncheon at Brasserie Blanc on the Monday (October 24) where attendees can find out more about the charity while enjoying a two-course lunch and a glass of wine.

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A raffle will also be going on throughout the week with prizes from more than 40 local retailers and businesses. The grand prize is worth £500 and includes clothing, beauty treatments, and hotel and restaurant vouchers.

Craig’s wife and Sam’s mother, Jan Shepheard, committee secretary of StarScope, said: “We miss him terribly as a family, he made the world a brighter place.

“Sam was non-verbal and never spoke a word, but he communicated with his eyes and an amazing smile that everybody who knew him loved and understood.”

Jan added that countless people had benefitted from the charity since it was founded 61 years ago and the CAT fund would help people with cerebral palsy access more ways to communicate.

She said: “It’s an ever-changing world with many exciting developments and inventions becoming more readily available, but it’s also a very expensive one.

“We hope that the CAT fund will enable people of all ages to communicate more easily with their loved ones and people in the world around them, and fill their world with Sam-smiles as a result.”

There will be multiple opportunities to purchase raffle tickets throughout SAFW, which runs from October 24-30.

Prize winners will be announced on October 31. People can donate to Sam’s CAT fund via the JustGiving link on SAFW website: