The competition is now closed.

An amazing opportunity came for Sunderland locals this summer to come and take part in a photography competition. The topic was “how Sunderland residents spend their free time in Backhouse Park”.

International Community Organisation of Sunderland (ICOS) – an organisation helping to improve the quality of life of minority people in North East but also bringing everyone together has been working hard to create this wonderful community that is welcome for everyone. ICOS with The East Rangers Project has been creating events at the Backhouse Park for a long time as part of a wider scheme to improve the park for residents including the creation of Fairy Trail, regular litter picking and planting. They are always searching for and welcoming new volunteers who would like to join this project and help to improve the park.

This time they have also organised a photography competition with a hope to “see everyone come together and spend free time with their loved ones, participating in outdoor activities and enjoying the weather and surroundings”. After many difficult months, it was wonderful to see residents of all ages using their creativity to capture priceless moments.

The organisers have asked park-goers to share their talents and capture the special moments from within the park in six categories: Flowers, Art, Birds, Dogs, Family & Friends in the Park and Fairy Trail.

This competition launched at the end of June till August 16th 2021 has had an amazing response of 59 submissions.  It is a success to see such an engagement from all participants.

With support from Newborn Story Photography Studio, East Rangers Project and Sunderland City Council there have been awards for each of the categories. The overall winner has received a trophy and a photographic session with family or friends in the Backhouse Park itself. All 1st places in each category have won their winning photography professionally printed.

After difficult decision making, we would like to thank all participants for their amazing submissions and special congratulations to the winners: Heather Robison – overall winner! Annie Cramlington – Flowers Category, James Rutherford – Art Category, Ian Maggiore – Birds Category, Kathryn Smith – Dogs Category, Kathryn Smith – Family & Friends in the Park and Agnieszka Skolimowska – Fairy Trail.

Michael Dixon, St Michael’s Ward Councillor, added “It was a great pleasure to be one of the judges for the recent photographic competition. The standard of entries was once again really high and thanks to all residents who took part. These beautiful, and at times,  moving photographs are well and truly part of the Backhouse Park story and will be available for people to enjoy, not only now, but in the years to come. Congratulations to Daniel and his East Rangers team for organising  such a successful event.”

Heather Robison – overall winner

We would like to thank everyone who has participated in this competition.

Competition rules:

  1. All photographs must be taken in Backhouse park.
  2. Only 5 photographs per person per category can be submitted. Professional photographers can enter only one photo per category.
  3. Photographs should be in JPEG format, minimum size 3MB.
  4. There are 6 categories:
  • Dogs in the park
  • Fairy Trail
  • Birds
  • Art Photography
  • Flowers
  • Family and Friends in the Park
  1. All entries must be received by 12.00 a.m. (BST) on the 16 August 2021.
  2. Send photographs to Please include your full name and names of categories.

Terms and Conditions:

If you would like to enter the ICOS photography competition, we recommend you read the following terms and conditions. By entering the competition, you agree to be bound by them.

The promoter is ICOS which is a registered charity (no.1186618).

There is no entry fee and no purchases are necessary to enter this

All information detailing how to enter this competition is part of the terms and conditions.

The competition is open to all children and adults who are resident in


  • 1st  place in each category: winning photography professionally printed.
  • Overall 1st award: trophy, winning photography professionally printed and Family photography session in the Backhouse Park.

Entrants agree to their winning photographs being used by ICOS and partners for promotional purposes.

Panel members will select the winner 21 days after the last submission. The
panel members’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.