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Insta-Initiative: Combining Social Media and Charity in Shoreditch

Atina Dimitrova reveals how a group of creative Londoners recently staged a ‘silent auction’ in Shoreditch, and why they’re planning to launch new art workshops in the weeks ahead.

Image Credit: Creating For Good
Image Credit: Charlotte Hu

Generosity?  Kindness? Taking time to help others? Forget it. Capital cities often get a bad rap as places where these qualities get crowded out in the bustle and drive of urban life. However, a newly formed collective of Instagram art-lovers in Shoreditch is bcucking the trend.

On Saturday March 25, the collective called Creating For Good organised an auction event at the Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch.

While enjoying chocolate cakes and rosé wine, more than 60 attendees participated in a ‘silent auction’ (where bids are written on sheets of paper rather than shouted out by those vying for the item), all trying to get ahold of a range of whimsical products.

From a handmade doll crafted out of newspapers and magazines,  classes about mixing and rolling the perfect Pâte sucrée, to restaurant deals for dates, there was no shortage of bargains to be had on the day.

In addition to this unconventional style of bidding contest, other attractions included a live auction during which a private photo tour and a coffee walk around the London’s best spots were on offer, a stall from the restaurant Chicama offering Peruvian dishes and a patisserie course from the cookery school Cactus Kitchens.

The event took place on Worldwide InstaMeet Day, the 2017 theme for which was kindness. Over the weekend many strangers gathered in various locations to take photos and videos together, the main idea being to share tips with nearby photography fans.

Supporting this initiative, Creating for Good showed some guests how to ride the wave of this Insta-trend by teaching them how to take beautifully filtered, mouthwatering shots of food.

The collective’s team comprises of 12 core volunteers known for showcasing pictures of food, travel and street photography on Instagram, each of whom now use the platform – and other social media events – to promote the group’s workshops and events.

Image Credit: Creating for Good
Image Credit: Charlotte Hu

Jo Yee, one of the group’s founding members, said of this approach: “Visually-driven platforms like Instagram are very useful tools to disseminate information and do some good.”

The group claim that they donate all of their revenue made by individual tutorials and photo walks to charitable organizations which provide help to people affected by war or poverty.

For instance, the March 25 Shoreditch event’s main goal was raising money for the London-based charity  , an organization which offers employability workshops to train refugees to integrate into the British work environment.

“I am very overwhelmed by the support and the generosity of all the event’s attendees,” Matthew Powell, the charity’s CEO, says. “Creating for Good know how to raise awareness on important issues and I hope we will build a long-term relationship.”

Jo Yee was similarly satisfied by the event’s accomplishments: “I am very pleased because of Saturday’s success. We finally met the people we’ve been talking to online and we also raised a little over 4,000 pounds and that’s a great achievement.”

The group plans to continue using its Instagram account (@creatingforgood) to offer workshops whose entry fees will be donated for charities as well, with the next due to take place on Sunday May 7 – at a venue still to be announced – in aid of the non-profit humanitarian charity Women for Women International.

It seems that with events like these, Instagram’s potential could finally begin to transcend applying attractive filters to our everyday selfies. Using this visual platform’s power to promote the importance of helping and gathering a crowd of jovial attendees in their casual weekend attire, Creating for Good certainly devised an unusual but entertaining auction last month, and who knows what the future holds?

Follow @creatingforgood on Instagram to keep track of their upcoming events for photographers, auction fans and Insta-avids alike.

Written by Atina Dimitrova

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