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Priceless photo memories

295. Samira Magrabi
296. Liz Wood

Co-founders of a photography network that offers free sessions to families of children with life-shortening conditions.

The Butterfly Wishes Network recruits photographers who will donate their time and services to families of children who have life-shortening conditions, offering them a free photography session and license-free images afterwards.

For many families of sick children a photoshoot to preserve memories of their short lives is a luxury they couldn’t afford but, their session with Butterfly Wishes, in any location that is meaningful for them, creates images they will treasure forever. Samira and Liz, both professional photographers, founded the Butterfly Wishes Network in 2013, with a group of likeminded photographers who had no idea whether it would work.

The not for profit organisation quickly grew into an amazing network of 285 photographers across the UK to join them and more than 100 families have been provided with family portraits to treasure. As well as carrying out photoshoots themselves they also coordinate all the shoots and check that every photo a family receives is a beautiful, high-quality image.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“With the Butterfly Wishes Network Liz and Samira have harnessed the generosity of a fantastic number of photographers to give their services for free and create beautiful photos that families can treasure forever. I hope this Points of Light Award will help them to recruit more photographers and provide this small piece of comfort to even more families.”

Liz said:

‘We originally spoke to an inspiring Charity in the US, who suggested we set up our own network in this Country, after speaking to Samira and a group of 10 other photographers we decided to appeal for photographers, and were stunned that so many, so quickly came on board. Without a doubt, the network would not work without each and every volunteer in it.

“I am truly humbled to be a part of this amazing group of photographers who are willing to give so much and our amazing admin team. For Butterflies to be recognized is wonderful, and hopefully we will attract more photographers to our network through this recognition.’

MP for South Suffolk, James Cartlidge (Liz’s MP) said:

‘The news that Liz Wood has been awarded a Point of Light is a welcome recognition of the fantastic work being done by Butterfly Wishes. This wonderful charity creates beautiful memories for families of children with life-shortening diseases, and none of this would be possible without the efforts of Liz and her co-founder Samira. Together they have worked tirelessly to build a network of professionals all working to celebrate the lives of these remarkable children.”

MP for Christchurch, Chris Cope (Samira’s MP) said:

“It is with great pleasure that I add my congratulations to Samira on receiving this award. It is fantastic that so many professional photographers have now joined the Butterfly Wishes Network and are providing such a wonderful service to families of children who have life-shortening conditions.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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