Around 100 people affected by homelessness descended on St Paul’s Cathedral in London this lunchtime for the launch of this year’s Café Art Photography Contest.

This year’s calendar [Photo credit: David Tovey]

Participants were each kitted out with a Fuji single-use film camera and challenged to take photos for next year’s Café Art calendar over the next few days.

Café Art is an organisation that connects homeless people with the wider community through art.

Their artwork is sold in London cafés, with proceeds going to the artists themselves.

sing.use.webParticipants were each handed a bag containing a flash-equipped Fuji single-use camera

Last year, cash raised from the calendar went to homeless vendors, and towards materials for the art groups involved.

The 2014 contest was touched by tragedy when the Judges’ Choice winner, Alex Davies, did not live to hear of her achievement.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s project, in the crypt of St Paul’s, Café Art director Paul Ryan revealed that Alex’s family donated her winnings to create a new category in this year’s contest.

Before leaving St Paul’s, participants were given photography tips by Roger Kelly, deputy regional organiser for the Royal Photographic Society’s London region.

They were also treated to lunch in the Wren Suite at St Paul’s, courtesy of a nearby Pret A Manger.

And no-one left hungry after Pret said it had accidentally double booked the food.

This year’s volunteer organisers included Amateur Photographer news editor Chris Cheesman who is due to help judge the annual competition later in July.

An exhibition of the best shots is due to take place at Spitalfields Market in east London.

For details of Café Art – the concept for which emerged ‘over a cup of coffee’ in 2012 – visit www.cafeart.org.uk

tovey.webSpeaking today, David Tovey, one of last year’s winners, said that the Café Art project has changed his life and led to his work being exhibited

kelly.webThe RPS’s Roger Kelly gives tips to participants, as Café Art director Paul Ryan looks on

[Photo credits (above); Chris Cheesman]