Buxton woman to sell late husband's photos to raise money for mountain rescue team

As the first anniversary of her husband’s death approaches, a Buxton woman is selling his photographs to raise money for the mountain rescue volunteers called to search for him when he never returned home.

By Lucy Ball
Friday, 9th July 2021, 12:58 pm

Keen photographer Jason Homer went out to take pictures at Buxton’s Lightwood Reservoir on July 16, 2020. But while there, he fell and suffered a brain injury which sadly killed him instantly.

His wife Helen Homer now wants people to see how talented her husband was and will be selling his pictures to support Buxton Mountain Rescue Team who were called to help find Jason when he didn’t return home.

Helen, from Nunsfield Road, said: “The day he died was the most horrendous day of my life.

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Helen Homer with one of her late husband's images which she is selling to raise money for Buxton Mountain Rescue Team

“He was supposed to pick me up from work at 5pm but he didn’t turn up.

"When I got home I saw his camera and walking boots were gone so I knew he was out taking pictures but I didn’t know where.

"I rang his friend who told me where he was so I went out to the reservoir and saw his car but we still couldn’t get hold of him and that’s when we called the police and mountain rescue.”The team were called late evening to assist Derbyshire Constabulary in the search for Jason.

They found a man fitting the description but unfortunately, Jason had suffered a fatal injury.

One of Helen's favourite images taken by her late husband Jason (Jay) Homer

Jason (Jay) Homer who was 48, died whilst out taking photographs at Flint Clough.

Helen said: “I found out afterwards he had been out everyday taking pictures of the waterfall as he wanted to get the perfect shot because there was either too much water or not enough water.

"He only got into photography about three years ago. He said he needed a hobby that got him out of the house and let him get some fresh air and he was getting really good at it.”

Helen and Jason (Jay) Homer. Picture submitted

While out taking pictures Jason, a dad of two from a previous relationship, fell and suffered a Diffuse Axonal Injury, a form of traumatic brain injury.

It happens when the brain rapidly shifts inside the skull as an injury is occurring. The long connecting fibers in the brain called axons are sheared as the brain rapidly accelerates and decelerates inside the hard bone of the skull.

Darren Hunt, spokesperson for Buxton Mountain Rescue Team, said: “I was one of the first team members to find Jason’s body last year.

"We don’t get many deaths so they do stay with you.

"I’ve since learned about how Jason died and I know it was so sudden. I just hope it brings his wife some comfort to know he was out doing what he loved and taking pictures.”

There were 32 volunteers who turned up to help search for Jason last July. Darren added: “A call was put out for a walker who hadn’t returned and we had a great turnout of members – we always do for missing people as you don’t know how big of an area you need to search so it’s a case of everyone turning out to try and find the person."

The search took four hours and 24 minutes totalling 141 man hours out around the reservoir.

Speaking after the call out Buxton Mountain Rescue Team said: “We would like to send our condolences to the gentleman’s family and friends, and thank our team members for all of their efforts during this difficult call out.”

As Darren explained, every call out is a team effort where volunteers come together from various organisations to help others. During the search for Jason, Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation assisted the team by supplying mobile lighting.

He said: "As a team we need to raise £45,000 a year to ensure we are able to attend every call out.

"Last year was our busiest year for call outs but our worst year for fundraising as we weren’t able to stand and do our collections on the street.

"With everything Helen has been through this past year, and I can’t believe it’s been a year already, her determination to help support the BMRT so others can be rescued and assisted is amazing.”

Helen is now teaming up with an online site to sell Jason’s landscape pictures.

The 45-year-old said: “He was funny, he was caring, he was very easy going and he was a very talented photographer.

"I held on to his pictures and shut down his instagram account as I found people were just downloading them and using them without asking which really upset me.

"But over time I’ve realised that his pictures were taken to be seen so I’ve found a website which will sell his pictures but I’m not taking the money it’s all going back to Buxton Mountain Rescue.

"The work they do is amazing. Nobody gets paid everyone comes to help people they have never met at a moment’s notice and I want to do something in Jay’s memory.

"All the money raised through the photograph sales will support them so they can continue to go and rescue other lost walkers and help injured people.

To buy Jason’s pictures with funds going to the Buxton Mountain Rescue Team the images are now available on the website www.picfair.com.

For more information about the work of Buxton Mountain Rescue Team, which is one of seven teams in the Peak District, visit their website at www.buxtonmountainrescue.org.uk.