BLOK member and professional photographer Charlotte Gale recently helped organise a charity dinner at the Crown Hotel in Harrogate, which raised £10,000 to help rebuild the lives of victims of April’s devastating earthquake in Nepal.
The event was the brainchild of the Crown Hotel and was organised in association with Harrogate Brigantes Rotary Club. It was attended by over 100 corporate and private guests, including guest speaker for the evening charismatic, ex Gurkha, Major Lil Gurung MBE.
Major Lil was out for a walk in Kathmandu when the earthquake struck and told of his experiences during and after the earthquake and of the short and longer term issues affecting his country.
Charlotte first became involved with Nepal when she spent a month out there in 2014; volunteering with and photographing a Rotary led Literacy, IT and Economic regeneration project.
She lived with a family in a remote upland valley, eating local food and washing in a bucket of cold water. She commented:
"In 2013 I was asked to join a team of volunteers who were journeying to a remote upland valley in Nepal to work on Rotary's 'Changing Young Live in Nepal' project. This IT, Literacy and Economic Regeneration initiative had been running successfully in Nepal for a number of years and had achieved much already, but what it lacked was media exposure back in the UK. The key was good quality imagery. As a professional photographer with a passion for travel, I didn't take much persuasion to join the team! I made many friends whilst I was out in Nepal, including ex Gurkha, Major Lil Gurung, and was immensely saddened to hear first hand from Major Lil of the devastation caused by the both the earthquake in April and its numerous aftershocks. Both myself and other members of the Nepal project team wanted to do something to help and when a local hotel proposed the idea of organising a totally sponsored charity dinner, this seemed like a unique opportunity for the local business community to work together to help those less fortunate in their time of need."
Sadly, although the earthquake is no longer in the headlines, the crisis in Nepal has not gone away. The country has suffered the effects of a particularly bad Monsoon season this year and just a few weeks ago, the neighbouring district to where Charlotte volunteered suffered 27 fatalities when a major landslide struck … triggered by the recent earthquake and heavy Monsoon rains.
Nepal will take years, if not decades to recover from this disaster. Prior to the quake it was already classed within the bottom 10% of the world league of economic wealth, with 35% of the population living below the official poverty line.
However, through the generous support and sponsorship of the Crown Hotel and their suppliers, all proceeds from the event will go directly to help victims of the Nepal Earthquake, via the close ties which Harrogate Brigantes Rotary Club have out there. Many of Charlotte’s own clients also contributed auction and raffle prizes and local radio DJ, Alex Cann very kindly agreed to act as auctioneer for the evening. Charlotte even got her five minutes of fame when Alex interviewed her on Stray FM the following day!
Charlotte Gale is a professional photographer from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.
You can see more of Charlotte’s work at www.charlottegalephotography.com