Last week I received a surprise phone call from Propaganda in Leeds asking if I was available to photograph a charity gig at the beautiful Holy Trinity Church in Leeds in support of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Admittedly, I didn't know a great deal about the charity but after as Lucille from Propaganda started to tell the harrowing story that led to the formation of this incredible organisation, I immediately remembered that day 7 years ago when a young girl had her life snatched away from her for nothing more than the way she looked.
Since then, Sophie's mother Sylvia has worked tirelessly to spread awareness and offer support to young people who face prejudice, often daily, for the way that they look. I couldn't help but have incredible admiration for Sylvia for embarking on a project that inevitably reminds her every day of the awful event that took her daughter from her - something that many would wish to push to the very bottom of their memory in order to try and only remember the precious time that they spent together.
It's nothing less that beautiful that Sylvia Lancaster now facilitates support for people like Sophie through the music that played a part in shaping her daughter's identity. To arrive at 5:00 for a 7:45 start and see a queue of enthusiastic young rock lovers eager to get a foot in the door made my heart swell even more.
The night was great. It was a real honor to be involved, for S.O.P.H.I.E. but also to meet Chasing Dragons, Ashestoangels and Bad Pollyanna - not only 3 seamless rock outfits but all great people with what was clearly a deep connection to the cause.
If you get an opportunity to attend any of these gigs or show your support for Sophie, please do... I can assure you it's both time and money well spent.