Photographer donating income for 'selfless' soldiers abroad
- Credit: Sophie Englefield
The partner of a Norfolk soldier deployed on a peacekeeping mission in Africa is raising funds for injured troops through her photography business.
Sophie Englefield, 23, lives in Beeston, near Dereham, and her partner, Jake, is deployed on a seven month UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, from Swanton Morley’s Robertson Barracks with many fellow soldiers, including another close friend of Ms Englefield.
Following a Malian raid two weeks ago which saw six Malian soldiers killed and 15 UN soldiers from other countries on the mission injured - some severely - several of the soldiers will run a half-marathon in the heat of the Sahel summer.
They hope to raise money via a GoFundMe page for the injured soldiers and for equipment on the mission.
“I can’t run a half-marathon, so I thought I’d raise some money through my little photography business and it’s going quite well,” said Ms Englefield.
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Some £20 out of every £30 mini-shoot booked with Sophie Jean Photography will be donated.
“All the money raised between now and September will be split down the middle, with half going to the GoFundMe page that they’ve sorted out and the other half to Help For Heroes,” she added.
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“It’s a hobby, but in the last year it’s taken off massively, which is amazing. I mainly specialise in outdoor family shoots, but I do a whole range.”
Reflecting on the experience of having a partner posted abroad, Ms Englefield said: “I’ve recently started a new job and I haven’t been able to speak to him, so that’s been quite difficult… All you want to do is tell the person who’s close to you what you’ve been up to.
“I must admit it makes the time that we’re together so much better - you appreciate it so much more and you appreciate that Norfolk has better WiFi than some places.
“It’s very difficult, but it’s very rewarding to know that you have two people that are so close to your heart doing such an amazing thing.
"They’re so selfless because they’re out there in 40 plus degree heat, battling the sandstorms, the rainy season. They’re still putting themselves out there, living on ration packets.
“It’s lovely to have people so close to your heart that are willing to do so much for their country and helping other people, so that’s quite a nice aspect. It’s hard but rewarding.”