Smile with a stranger


Toby, from Shelter

The story behind the stranger: I was wondering through Covent Garden for work a few months back, taking photos of all the West End ad campaigns we had running at the time. It was freezing and I was picturing my scarf that I’d accidentally left on my bed that morning when I bumped into this guy. He works for Shelter, a charity that helps people who are struggling with bad housing and homelessness. He was trying to raise money for the cause but was getting blank stares and ‘heads-down-phones-out’ walk bys from the public, as charities often do. I stopped, listened to what he had to say and decided to set up a small monthly donation, both to help those struggling with homelessness and to thank Toby and everyone at Shelter for the fantastic work they do. Toby told me I was the first person that had stopped to listen to him that day and he was really grateful. His Team Leader, Will, came running over for a photo op too (yes, that’s a Santa hat). Toby, Will, you’re both wonderful people!


I set up #smilewithastranger in order to celebrate brilliant people doing brilliant things and to champion those that go unnoticed. I take photos with people I meet, ask their name and job title (if relevant) and then post the selfies on my Instagram account.

Click here to meet the strangers, or here to read more about my idea.

Samantha x



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