Croydon photography group’s fresh take on Macmillan coffee mornings

The group is selling mugs featuring their photos Pic: Maryam Khan

When a Croydon photography group had to move its activities online due to Covid, they weren’t sure how they were going to hold their annual fundraising event. However, last Sunday, Lenses of Croydon held a virtual MacMillan Coffee Morning with the Mayor of Croydon, councillor Maddie Henson, swapping coffee and cake for mugs and screens.

All proceeds from mug sales go to Macmillan Pic: Joel Smedley

The group is selling their own custom mugs, where all the proceeds will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Lee Townsend, who founded the group said: “We are a photography group based in Croydon, who welcome anyone into our group.  We’ve been running a free virtual event for anyone with interest in photography every Tuesday at 7 pm since the beginning of the lockdown as a means to help reduce possible feelings of isolation among creative. Each meeting features a guest speaker that share their photographic journey.”

The group wanted to find a creative way to raise money for Macmillan because it was would be hard to sell cakes, so they decided to sell mugs with their own photography on it. 

Townsend added: “Each photographer took their photo at different times, some [of us used] an image that we had capture many years ago.”

“None of us took any photographs specifically for Macmillan as far as I know, but we all went through our archives to find an appropriate digital image to donate for the use of making a coffee cup.”

“When Noel Amos aka Bampson and myself [Townsend] came up with the idea of using an image from everyone in the group that wanted to participate in making cups that could be sold, they thought it best to ask for existing pictures to make the process as easy as possible for each photographer.”

Each year the group raises money for one charity. Townsend said “This year we chose Macmillan Cancer Support as the charity that we wanted to focus our efforts on.”

“Part of the reason for this was that Sean Baker, one of the members of the group, had experienced having cancer. Macmillan proved to have been of great help to him after his operation through the provision of guidance, support and giving him a platform to help raise awareness of the importance of men having a prostate check.”

Townsend said his favourite mug is “by one of our newest members, Maryam Khan. She only recently took up photography as a hobby, but I love her photo of a cake she baked herself, which says, mum. I think it has some nice colours and would make an excellent stocking filler for anyone’s mother at Christmas.”

The mugs are available at,

The mugs are available to order until the end of this month and all the profits go back to Macmillan Cancer Support. 

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