Message from the Banks Family

January 2022

2020 was a tough year for fundraising, with the impossibility of getting together, and we struggled to find our annual £5,500 for Pathshala.  It was in October of that year that Louise started swimming in the Exe estuary and came up with the brilliant idea of swimming every day in February 2021 and getting sponsored.  She did it – even when icicles were hanging from the cliffs – and raised more than £5,500.  So we had the whole of last year’s contribution by March.  This was by far the most successful fundraising activity we have had.

Our main fundraiser since then has been a calendar produced for us by Lympstone photographer Harley Jaffer.  Harley generously paid for the first print run of 25, and Charlotte and Bruce Ellis agreed to sell them at Seaglass Gallery without commission, so the whole £20 purchase price went to the fund.  They sold out and we have so far sold 15 of the second run.  This means the calendars have so far raised £650.

For the second Christmas running Graham and other musicians (John, Alice, Bruce and Warwick) collected for the fund while playing carols on two nights.  This raised £176.  Sales of Louise’s prints and cards (mainly at Seaglass Gallery for no commission) have raised over £300 and we are particularly grateful to regular donors and those with standing orders for keeping the fund ticking over.  The result is that we start 2022 over half way to this year’s target.

Our first payment to Pathshala was made on 19 August 2011, so our association has stretched beyond a decade.  The total amount raised in that time has just passed £60,000.

We were delighted to see that Sumi Anjuman, a recipient of a Sam Banks Bursary grant (2018 – 19) showed her work at Noorderlicht International Photo Festival 2021, in the Netherlands. Her photographs are part of a series called ‘Somewhere Else Than Here’.

In 2021 the Head of Photography said of the bursary arrangement: ‘This time we had received a larger number of applicants than usual as due to the pandemic many of our students are going through financial struggles. Considering the ongoing situation, we have decided to split the bursary into seven students instead of just four students like before as it will provide the support to continue their studies.’

At Pathshala itself they recently celebrated the 23rd anniversary of their foundation.  We are proud to have been with them for nearly half of their journey.

A full explanation of the Fund can be found here: Pathshala and the Sam Banks Memorial Fund

and on the Pathshala official website

The Swim – January 2021

I did it! I completed the sponsored swim in the Exe estuary, Devon and raised just over £5,500! Thank you all so much for your support. Donations came in as I swam every day in February at high tides, in water temperatures ranging from 2 – 9 degrees, through snow, the Beast from the East, rain, moonlight and finally sun. Covering a daily distance of up to 1.1k in a swimsuit in the estuary at the end of our road, my initial goal was to swim seven miles over the course of the month but by the end managed eight and a half.)

The photos and posts about this swim, along with other fund updates can be found on:

instagram sambanksfund2010

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