Celebrities put themselves in the picture to support Sightsavers’ campaign

December 2014

NOTE: This article is more than five years old, but may still be relevant. For more recent content, see our news and blogs page.

Gaz Coombes in a photo frame

“The campaign is giving a voice to people with disabilities in some of the poorest countries in the world”

Paralympic gold medallist Kelly Gallagher and Gaz Coombes from Supergrass are among a team of celebrities who have been ‘put in the picture’ by acclaimed portrait photographer Rankin to mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Visually impaired skier Kelly and musician Gaz, alongside War Horse star Jeremy Irvine, director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) and Brit actress Chloe Pirrie, are supporting Sightsavers’ Put Us in the Picture campaign, calling on the UK government to ensure that people with disabilities living in the world’s poorest countries are included in international aid.

Gaz Coombes said: “Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. I worked with Rankin recently and was glad to participate in the campaign for Sightsavers. It calls for all people with disabilities to be given equal rights to services such as education, health and employment, so they can play an important role in their communities.”

Rankin, who has supported Sightsavers for several years and shot our 2011 Feel Bad Four video starring James Corden, said: “I am supporting Sightsavers’ Put Us in the Picture campaign because it is giving a voice to people with disabilities in some of the poorest countries in the world. Everyone, regardless of what disability they may have, should be able to go to school or earn a living. Everyone should have access to health care. Everyone should be included in discussions when it comes to international aid.”

“I believe that everyone, regardless of disability or where they live, should be given the opportunity to go to school, to earn a living, to have their voice heard. That’s why I am supporting Sightsavers’ Put Us in the Picture campaign.

“I have first-hand experience of how challenging it can be to live with a disability. Thankfully, because I live in the UK, I’ve benefited from equality of opportunity and the hard work of pioneering people before me. I went to a mainstream school and university and was able to achieve along with everyone else. I’ve also been able pursue the dreams I had as a teenager, such as securing a graduate job and ski racing at the pinnacle of the sport.”

“I have learnt from Sightsavers’ Put Us in the Picture campaign that, in developing countries, people with disabilities are often severely excluded. They are more likely to be unemployed, lower paid and have less job security. But why should people with disabilities remain dependent because of physical, social and economic barriers? They deserve equal access to education and employment wherever they live, which is why I am asking everyone to join me in supporting this really important campaign.”

These celebrities are now asking you to support the campaign by ‘putting yourself in the picture’ using your own Facebook and Twitter profile pictures to show the government there is strong support for this issue.

Want to read more about our work?

Sightsavers and disability rights
Three women, one of whom is using a wheelchair, holding up signs reading '#EqualUN for an equal world'.
Sightsavers blog

Why we’re calling for an equal UN

Globally, it’s recognised that people with disabilities are vulnerable to being left behind in efforts to eradicate poverty. Yet there’s still not enough progress being made.

Tessa Murphy, March 2019
A large crowd of people standing in a conference hall with a banner promoting the Africa Health Agenda International Conference.
Sightsavers blog

Five takeaways from the Africa Health Agenda conference

The conference, in Rwanda, brought together more than 1,500 participants from all kinds of sectors, all working on ways of ensuring better health outcomes for everyone.

Fred Smith, March 2019
A close-up of two girls holding hands.
Sightsavers blog

“Grace gave me the courage to empower people with disabilities”

Disability ambassador Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame remembers Grace Preko, her friend, sister and role model who showed her there was life after blindness.