The Volunteer Films project run by Media Trust is a communications capacity building initiative, that has been funded by the Charity since 2015.  Media Trust is the UK’s leading media communications charity.  It helps charities and community groups to develop their public voice and share the impact of their work by bringing their stories to life.   Media Trust does this by convening a network of professionals from across the Media industry to share their communications and media knowledge, expertise, skills and time with charitable organisations.  Together, they have been working to improve the lives of people and communities across the UK for more than 20 years.

Over the last three years, this initiative has provided 30 organisations supported by John Lyon’s Charity the opportunity to have a powerful three-minute film made by professional film makers.  In 2018, 10 organisations were identified as having need for a film to promote their work and were matched with a professional film maker who volunteered their time and expertise to make the films.  The films cover a range of subjects from mentoring to forest schools, sensory books to boxing and caring to cookery.  The project culminated in a film screening at the Institute of Contemporary Art in September 2018.

Films created for the 2018 cohort have been used to successfully articulate the work of the charities to potential volunteers, funders and in funding reports.  Films have been used to raise awareness, celebrate 25th and 70th anniversary celebrations of the charities and have featured in local news.  Three of the films were also nominated for the Charity Film Awards, with one making it to the finals on 22nd April 2019.  The films have also been a catalyst for the charities to build their own communications expertise and use available platforms to disseminate the power and impact of their work.

We look forward to seeing how the groups continue to use their films. Below is just one example from Grasvenor Project. Others can be found on the Charity’s website, exemplifying each of its Programme Areas.