If you are tired of the never ending requests for sponsorship; then take a look at the work of Barry Atkinson and Spider’s Appeal; then relish in their outstanding achievement.
Barry is an art and design profession and as a landscape painter & designer he gets his love and passion from his parents, both of whom adored the countryside and dogs; but after losing his father, at a young age to cancer, Barry knew he wanted to do something.
At the time Barry was out beating & working on local shoots which he loved, so after chatting with a few friends the idea of beating on 1,000 different shoots, in 10 shooting seasons, and collecting money for charity was hatched. But just a few days later Spider, his English Springer Spaniel and great companion, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour. ‘That was the turning point, if not the start point’ said Barry ‘after losing my father to then find Spider had cancer it made me more determined than ever, both to raise money and public awareness’.
Sadly Spider lost his battle with cancer as he died peacefully at home on Easter Sunday 2007, after visiting the first 398 shoots. To honour a dog, that started life as a working gamekeepers dog and one that gave such inspiration, his ashes have been spread on every shoot following his untimely death. Since then his grandson, also called Spider, has been on every shoot accompanying Barry.
In January 2013, Barry and Spider reached the massive milestone of 1,000 shoots at the Birch Grove Shoot in Sussex; when asked about the final day, Barry said it was better than he could have ever imagined and he was too busy enjoying the moment to feel emotional about the achievement. Now back home for some well deserved rest the two of them can look back on an outstanding decade of success.
With such a great success story I was delighted to be asked to photograph Barry & Spider for a number of web sites and publications as he finished his 1,000th shoot, and returned home.
To read more about Spider’s Appeal and to donate www.spidersappeal.co.uk