An amateur photographer from County Down has raised £11,400 for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland after selling 1,000 copies of his agriculture calendar featuring imagery of farming contractors working on the Ards Peninsula.

Steven Evans, from Kirkistown, was furloughed from his job as an automatic greaser technician during the early part of the 2020 pandemic lockdown. The 30-year-old turned his attention to fresh air and photography.

Evans said: “This whole thing started out as nothing more than a comment-in-passing by one of the contractors, who spoke to me when I was out photographing their machinery working in the fields.

“The initial idea of creating 250 calendars soon got out of hand, and before long 1,000 copies had been printed. The contractors featured within the calendar covered the printing costs”.

Vital support

Air Ambulance NI area fundraising manager Grace Williams described Evans' story of creating the calendar after he had been furloughed from work as real inspiration.

“As a service we rely heavily on charitable donations to keep the medical team in the air, delivering critical care to patients who have suffered trauma throughout Northern Ireland.

“Without this type of support, the team simply couldn’t fly. The past year has been especially challenging for fundraising and we’ve seen a dramatic downturn in our income. Every single penny counts.

“We want to say a huge thank you to Steven and everyone who has supported sales of his amazing calendar.”