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Local photographer looking to help children ‘stand up to the bullies’

A LOCAL Melksham photographer, Gemma Keith, is offering ‘confidence boost’ photoshoots to children who are looking to ‘stand up to the bullies.’

Having always loved photography, and turning professional in the last two years, Gemma Keith wanted to try and use her skills to do something good. The opportunity arose when her friend’s daughter came round for tea one night, sparking a charitable idea.

Gemma said, “My friend’s daughter is bullied at school for being different and always talks about not being pretty like the other girls, as she isn’t the girl with the big pink bow in her hair, she enjoys playing football and wearing football kits

“I just wanted to show her that no matter what you do, you’re still beautiful. I want to give children a boost to make them realise that words and actions of bullies can be so cruel, but no matter what, they are still beautiful inside and out. So that is where the idea came from to photograph her doing something she loved

“I then saw on Facebook a few other friends’ children suffering with bullying and decided I wanted to try and do something good and offer the ‘confidence boost’ photoshoots

“I have a few shoots booked, with loads of messages coming through of other people wanting to get involved”

Local mum, Michelle Brightwell, brought her daughter, Grace Povey, along to one of Gemma’s photoshoots recently, to try and increase her confidence. Michelle said “Grace is ridiculously quiet, she has had a tough year alongside the arrival of a new baby brother and I just wanted to do something where the attention is focused on her.”

“I think what Gemma is doing is so important. For children these days, everything is a competition and Grace always over-thinks things. I was shocked when I saw people in Grace’s class and other people we knew responding to Gemma’s ad. It made me realise that it isn’t just my kid, everyone is in the same boat. It’s ridiculous, children are far too young to realise who they hate.”

Grace’s photoshoot saw her running around King George V playing field, doing what she loves to do, kicking leaves and running around. Her brother Austin also got involved and they were enjoying throwing leaves at each other.

Gemma is offering these photoshoots free of charge, with the chance for the parents to purchase the photos afterwards. A 50% donation will be made on all purchases, which will go towards an anti-bullying charity of the parent and child’s choice.

The photoshoot can be done indoors or outdoors, whether it is doing a sport they love, or doing something they enjoy best.

If you are interested in your child receiving a ‘confidence boost’ photoshoot, contact Gemma Keith via email on keepsake85@icloud.com or call 07975 814417

Pictured top: Left to right; Michelle Brightwell, Austin and Grace Povey and Gemma Keith.

Above: Grace Povey posing for photographer Gemma Keith.