Funding helps South London photographer ‘kickstart’ career

Regular contributor and Area Ambassador for InYourArea, Andrew Cleminson, speaks to a South London photographer about her new business.

Written by Andrew Cleminson

Lucy Shafi from Croydon, smiles, picks up her camera bag and heads off for another photo shoot.

Six months ago, this would not have been possible but as a result of the pandemic, she has developed a passion for photography and launched her own business: Happy Glow UK.

In September 2020, the government-funded ‘Kickstarter Scheme’ was launched by Rishi Sunak to offer 16 to 24-year-olds, who were on universal credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, the opportunity to kickstart their careers.

Government funding has been made available to pay young people the national minimum wage for 25 hours of work a week for a six-month period. This has provided people like Lucy with the chance to gain experience in specific industries and open up pathways into these sectors.

Lucy, now 25, said: “The Kickstarter scheme couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

“After graduating in 2020, and shortly after being made redundant, I was looking for a gateway into the world of media. My Kickstarter journey, working with ASBO Media Ltd, has enabled me to develop new photography skills, build my portfolio, have fun and launch my own business.”

Lucy is now self-employed and is keen to expand her photography business.

Having recently completed projects with London City Hall, Croydon Carnival and most recently The BRIT School, the Kickstarter scheme has proved successful in equipping her with the tools she needed to get her own business off the ground.

Vanessa McCormack, DWP job coach said: “Kickstart has been and continues to be a huge success, helping tens of thousands of young people to get back on their feet after Covid-19 hit and benefiting businesses, too.

“It’s fantastic to hear about individual success stories like Lucy’s, and I wish her all the best for what I’m sure is a bright future ahead of her.”

For more information about the Kickstarter scheme visit:

For more about Lucy’s business visit: or @HappyGlowUK

Get all the latest news, updates, things to do and more from your local InYourArea feed

Recommended For You