The recent events in the Middle East have highlighted the great risks freelance journalists, photographers and cameraman take while doing their jobs. Covering situations like those in Iraq and Syria takes courage, experience, but also training. Due to the expense of hostile environment courses many freelance journalists go into conflict zones with little or no preparation in the scenarios they may encounter or the medical experience they may need if it goes wrong on the battlefield.
The lives of a number of the freelance journalists who didn't come home from the recent wars in the Middle East, such as Tim Hetherington or Anton Hammerl, may have been saved if they or those around them had been trained.
The Rory Peck Trust provides funding for freelance journalists to cover the expense of hostile environment training. To raise money for this fund I'm going to shave off my beard. It's something which I have lovingly grown for almost two years now, but shaving it is a tiny sacrifice in comparison to the sacrifice many freelance journalists make. Ultimately I hope that any funding raised will stop a freelance journalist somewhere making the ultimate sacrifice.
So if you know me and have been trying to get this damn thing off my face for the past couple of years, or you follow me on Twitter and hate it every time it pops in your feed, now is your chance.
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